Saturday, January 15, 2005

New Jazz Club Hits a Sour Note with Some

Eric sent me a story this morning about how some of the neighbors of the new and highly-touted jazz club Brooklyn are singing the blues over what they consider to be excessive noise:
Brooklyn is the latest buzz on the street for Dallas jazz lovers.

But it's not the buzz that's bothering one neighboring restaurant of the new jazz cafe in the Bishop Arts District. It's the bass.

"On occasion, the bass is so loud you can feel it in our restaurant," said Hal Dantzler, co-owner of Hattie's. "It's a real distraction."

Brooklyn opened in the early summer, and its siren song of live jazz, great food and relaxed, New Orleans-style atmosphere has drawn music lovers from across North Texas to Oak Cliff's emerging arts area.

Its popularity, however, has come at a price. Brooklyn's landlord has given the hot spot 30 days to do something about the noise or risk eviction.
(Read the whole thing.)

I sure hope this doesn't result in the closing of the club. I haven't gotten to go there yet, but it seems like it's the kind of place that Dallas sorely needs: a jazz club that's all about the music, as opposed to a restaurant where the music is just one of several backdrops. It does seem as though the sound wall mentioned in the article should have been a consideration when the place opened, but it seems as though most of the Bishop Arts District places are mom-and-pop businesses which probably started out on a shoestring budget, so it almost makes sense that owner Lorna Tate would have waited to throw down that kind of money until she knew for sure that her club was going to make it. Now that it has, perhaps that's a really big growing pain coming up. (I'm also happy that, for the way-in-the-future jazz club that Halfling and I plan to open, we already have both a degreed entrepreneur and an acoustician on whom we can call when the time comes.)

Eric asked me when he emailed this article if noise has ever been a problem at any of my gigs, and the answer would be "almost never." An old group of mine even played a gig on the rooftop stage of a club in Denton one time without any evidence of complaints from the neighbors (though evidently the roof gigs stopped later on after they had a few rock bands up there). I've certainly never heard anything specifically lamenting too much bass; you'd think that would be more of an issue with rock bands. Even the backyard gigs I've played have usually not had any problems with the neighbors, who (as was the case with this one) were always warned well in advance and even invited to the festivities.

So I certainly hope this works out for Brooklyn; it'd be a shame to lose a venue like this before it even had a chance to mature. If Tate ends up having to build a wall, perhaps some of the regulars could stage a benefit night over there, with the proceeds going to a "wall fund" of sorts. I'll update this story as more develops.

How much will the NTB bill be for this? Yesterday afternoon, on my way up to Denton, I heard about a traffic snarl on the 121 Bypass where a Hummer had not one, not two, but three flat tires.


The Cheese Monkey said...

Oh, wow, Hummers actually get driven outside of a desert scenario? That is so, SO, cooooool.

Eric Grubbs said...

I wonder if noise was a factor with Caravan of Dreams . . .

As far as the flat tires, I don't blame any of those onlookers slowing down to look at it. Apparently it was an army-styled Hummer.

Kev said...

I doubt that noise was a factor in Caravan's demise; the jazz club part was on the bottom floor of a three-story building (with the theatre on the second floor and a rooftop grotto bar on the third). I still say it's a shame that a jazz club couldn't be supported even by Bass family money, though...