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Bar noise over Broadway

Residents of Keap and South 5th streets are concerned that adding one more restaurant to the growing number of bars on their block will make the street too loud to bear.

The focus of their ire is a new restaurant, Zamaan’s Bar and Restaurant, set to open on 349 Broadway, just next to Trophy Bar (351 Broadway), by September 2009.

The owner has been renovating the site for months, which will include a kitchen and a garden in the space’s backyard, and appeared last week at a Community Board 1 Public Safety meeting (435 Graham Avenue) to request a new liquor license.

One nearby resident, James Walker, brought a handful of letters of concern from his neighbors about the high level of outdoor noise coming from the block.Walker is protesting Zamaan’s application for a liquor license and wants heavy restrictions for the restaurant’s use of their outdoor yard.

“That’s my backyard!That’s my sleep!How would you like it if you were sleep deprivedi” said Walker.

Kamil Aldawaliby, the applicant and owner of Zamaan’s, said he will be following several restrictions imposed by the community board to reduce ambient noise, such as installing an eight-foot fence around the perimeter, insulation to reduce interior sound, adding a canopy to each table and a door to the garden, and a sign on the wall recommending patrons to respect their neighbors.

“Kamil is willing to have the gentleman present while the insulation is going into the walls,” said Kostas Halkais, an attorney representing Zamaan’s.

The hours of operation are likely to be the sticking point in any negotiations, though restaurant owners appear to be willing to listen to the concerns of local residents.

The State Liquor Authority allows establishments to stay open as late as 4 a.m. on the weekends, though CB 1 typically recommends that any outdoor area part of a restaurant or bar stay open no later than 11 p.m. on the weekdays and 1 a.m. on the weekends.

Zaaman’s owners have indicated that they are flexible with these hours and would consider closing by 10 p.m., but Walker and his neighborhood advocates would prefer that the restaurant has outdoor customers only until 9 p.m.

“Those times are unacceptable,” said Walker.

CB 1 Public Safety Chair Mieszko Kalita hopes that the restaurant owners and local residents can come to an agreement over the establishment’s hours of operation quickly.

“If they agree to talk, I recommend you talk,” said Kalita, addressing Walker, during the committee meeting.“If you can find a middle ground with the backyard where it will be open until 10 p.m., that will be perfect.”

After Kalita and Walker bickered for much of the meeting, with Walker accusing Kalita of not representing the interests of the community, Kalita, clearly frustrated with the direction of the meeting, recommended that Walker speak at the CB 1 public session on July 14, where he could state his case to the full board.

“Typically people come in with an open mind,” said Kalita.“This gentleman did not want to bend in any way even though the owner agreed to all the stipulations.”

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