To the Editor:
In response to the March 24 Islander article, “Bar music, noise debated”/“Permit Flap,” I am writing to support the efforts of Little A’s Restaurant to provide an open mike entertainment every Tuesday night, year-round.
I am 75 years old and wear two hearing aids. I also am a beginning electric guitar player. Since I retired year-round to Bar Harbor in June, 2014, I have been coming to Little A’s every Tuesday night to learn from the superb musicians there, learning to perform the blues and rock and roll music that I grew up with and loved.
During the past nearly two years, I never felt that the music was too loud, even inside the restaurant. On Tuesday nights, Little A’s provides a very special opportunity, especially to parents for families to come and pack the front porch with middle school- and high school-age kids for birthday parties. It gives those kids the chance to perform their astonishingly great musical talents. Often they are invited back during following weeks.
Beginning at 7 p.m., every performer – beginners like me and advanced ones, such as those kids – gets to perform four songs, maximum. Often they pick ones they have composed. Occasionally, someone will recite a poem or two.
This is no ordinary bar. This is a treasured performance center for Bar Harbor and MDI residents of a wide variety of ages (I am not the only performing retiree).
I would encourage Town Council members to come each Tuesday night, bring along an instrument and experience firsthand the diverse, very supportive atmosphere. It is almost that of a music class. They could observe the owner, Sal Clouse, assessing sound/decibel levels with a meter – inside and outside – beside the rooming house, multiple times per hour, even before 10 p.m. He and Little A’s would be a great neighbor in any residential neighborhood. He should not be pushed out of this one.
Its location is a business/entertainment district, not a residential neighborhood.
For a business owner to be allowed to modify a prior, next-door restaurant business into a residential unit right beside an existing establishment known for years for its live music and then complain about the sound level seems illogical and unfair.
I strongly support the continued musical opportunities provided by Little A’s and will be happy to come to any future Town Council meeting to explain this position in detail.
Gary W. Conrad