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OLCC considers late-night limits at bars with patios

By Kandra Kent
Published On: Apr 24 2013 09:31:07 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's looked into a potential ruling by the OLCC and how it could affect local bars.

BEND, Ore. -

Worthy Brewing CEO Chris Hodge said he has a lucky location.

His business have never gotten a noise complaint.

"I would be concerned if I owned an urban pub, tavern or restaurant, because I know those establishments do rely upon that late-night music," Hodge said Wednesday.

But a new law that could be slapped on Oregon bars would aim to reduce noise complaints that bars do get.

And there's plenty in Central Oregon -- just head to southwest Bend, where bars, businesses and homes blend together. NewsChannel 21 spoke with several bars and restaurant owners Wednesday who said they've gotten complaints. Some said several, others said just a few.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is expected to vote Thursday on a new rule: Bars near homes would have to shut off amplified outdoor music at 10 p.m. and wouldn't be able to serve alcoholic drinks on patios or decks after 1 a.m.

It's aimed to protect neighbors from sleepless nights, but killing the music earlier won't solve every issue neighbors can voice.

"My bedroom window is literally right next to 10 Barrel -- I can see the bar from my kitchen door," said neighbor Zoe Ansary.

Ansary said she likes to go out and have a good time too. But with summer's outdoor concerts right around the corner, she's bracing for less sleep.

"It's going to be frustrating when I have to get up early in the morning, and there's noise until 11 or 12 at night," Ansary said.

10 Barrel closes at midnight on the weekends, so the 1 a.m. shutdown of outdoor alcohol wouldn't be necessary. But still, it can be noisy for neighbors like Ansary.

Over at Worthy, Hodge said it's just part of the price of living in the city.

"I will tell you, if you chose to live in a downtown urban area, it kind of comes with the territory. That's my belief," Hodge said.

Bend's noise ordinance already curbs excessive noise after 10 p.m., and many brew pubs, including Worthy Brewing close well before the 1 a.m. curfew.

Still, it's the ongoing battle between flourishing business and neighbors who don't want to hear it.

One bar owner in southwest Bend told NewsChannel 21 that the ruling will affect his business. He said he plans on serving outdoors in the summer, and said the new rules would hurt his customers who don't get off work until later at night.

For many neighbors, both by Worthy and on Bend's Westside, if the music isn't too loud and ends at a reasonable hour -- bring on the party.

"I have sympathy with people wanting to put on music programs," said a man who lives across from Worthy Brewing.

"I think it's actually pretty cool to have some live entertainment," another neighbor said.

The Bend city Council is expected to again discuss the city's noise ordinance at a meeting next week.

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