Extended extended outdoor seating, live music permitted

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The large outdoor seating area at the Bridge Tender Inn includes a small stage under a large tent. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

BRADENTON BEACH – A new ordinance allows businesses to continue to use the expanded outdoor rest areas permitted during the pandemic, without banning live music in those areas.

On Thursday, June 3, the Bradenton Beach Commission unanimously passed Order 21-533 on second and final reading, which allows previously expanded outdoor commercial activities to continue until further notice as businesses communities continue to recover from the financial losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, the committee decided that live music would no longer be prohibited in these enlarged outdoor spaces.

Establishments wishing to continue using their expanded outdoor seating areas must reapply to the city’s construction department. If the property offers live music, the app should indicate where the live music will be played.

The new ordinance is an amended version of the original Ordinance 20-516, adopted in May 2020, which allowed the temporary expansion of outdoor dining spaces but banned live music in these expanded areas. The ban on live music has never been enforced.

With its approval, the committee reversed its position during the first reading of Ordinance 21-533 of May 20, when it agreed that the ban on live music contained in the previous ordinance would be implemented if the new ordinance was adopted on second reading.

The live music ban did not apply to live music performance areas used before the pandemic; the expansion of outdoor rest areas was first authorized in 2020.

Execution notice

On Friday, May 28, Bradenton Beach Building Manager Steve Gilbert and members of the Bradenton Beach Police Department drafted a written notice that was distributed to affected and potentially affected facilities ahead of Thursday’s meeting.

The prohibition notice read: “Order 20-516, passed May 21, 2020, provided for an expansion of outdoor dining due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance provided for a number of regulations concerning the permitted extended areas. The ordinance also provided for several prohibitions. Section 5 expressly prohibits performances and musical groups in the expanded outdoor dining rooms.

The notice included an acknowledgment form to be signed by the owner or manager of the business, which read: “I hereby acknowledge that I have read this document and agree to cease performing and performing. in my enlarged outdoor dining room. ”

Extended extended outdoor seating, live music permitted
The Drift In can continue to use its expanded seating area for live music. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

“The city has received complaints about performances and bands in these expanded outdoor dining areas and is responding to those complaints. Be aware that as of June 4, municipal police and code enforcement officers will begin enforcing this ban. The violations will result in the loss of all expanded outdoor catering areas, ”the city notice said.

Opposing companies

The Bridge Tender Inn, Drift In and Wicked Cantina offer live music in their spacious outdoor seating areas. During Thursday’s committee meeting, Drift owner Joe Cuervo, Drift In manager Doreen Flynn and Bridge Tender Inn owner Fred Bartizal asked the committee to reconsider its position on the music ban. live in the enlarged outdoor seating areas.

“It’s absurd to me that you can’t have a tent and you can’t have a band,” Flynn said. “You are the ones who made Bridge Street an entertainment and nightlife destination. Why do you want to take this away from us, and take this off Bridge Street? Most people don’t want to sit inside. They want to be outside.

Extended extended outdoor seating, live music permitted
Drift In director Doreen Flynn urged the commission to allow live music to continue in the expanded outdoor seating areas. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

Cuervo said most of Drift In’s concerts take place indoors, and their outdoor music usually takes place on Saturday afternoons. He said his establishment had never been cited for violating the noise ordinance and that the additional outdoor seating was helping him rebuild his bank account.

“I lost over a million and a half dollars in those seven to eight months. I took out all my savings to continue. You tell me what I have to do to keep my tents and have my group during the day, from two to six. Anything you can do to help me, I would appreciate it, ”Cuervo said.

Bartizal said he has loved Bridge Street since 1953 and it has become a highlight of Anna Maria Island.

“I really don’t like the people who have moved in here lately and are trying to change it. It does not mean anything. The places where we place our groups have always been there. They will stay there. We went through thick and thin to keep this thing going, ”Bartizal said.

During Thursday’s meeting, Commissioner Jan Vosburgh said: “I think we should do everything we can to help our businesses. They’ve been through a lot.

Commissioner Ralph Cole said he saw no reason to ban live music in the enlarged outdoor areas.

Commissioner Jake Spooner noted that the city’s noise ordinance still applies to live music.

“I am very much in favor of the continued expansion of outdoor dining. If there is a violation of the noise ordinance, there is a violation of the noise ordinance, ”he said.

Extended extended outdoor seating, live music permitted

The Wicked Cantina’s expanded outdoor seating area includes umbrellas and a temporary fence. – Joe Hendricks | SunLt. John Cosby said the Bradenton Beach Police Department currently only has two decibels, which officers share. Cosby said the department plans to purchase additional meters so that every agent has one.

The only public comment against live music in the expanded outdoor seating areas came during a meeting on May 20, when Old Bridge Village condominium resident Mary Bell expressed her opposition to the Bridge Tender. Inn continues its live music in its expanded rest area.


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