Her fears alleviated by attorney David Ankeles, the neighbor, Mrs. Trainor, seemed satisfied afterward that the nice little restaurant going in across the street from her home would actually be a good thing for the neighborhood.
Following the presentation before the Peabody City Council back in July of 2011, she felt that maybe there was nothing to fear. This wouldn’t be a situation where “they get a permit and then all of a sudden they change all of the rules on you,” she was quoted in the notes at that special permit hearing.
No, not at all, attorney Ankeles and petitioner Sal Palumbo would insist. This was going to be a nice, little bistro, with 95 seats for diners, and room for another 15 to stand and wait for the next available tables on really busy nights. As for entertainment, maybe a cool little three-piece jazz band to provide a little background music while you dined on citrus marinated shrimp or panko encrusted chicken.
There was definitely nothing over-bearing or sinister in the plans for what would become the Stonewood Tavern on Lynnfield Street. It was redevelopment of a dingy property. It was the type of development Peabody needs and wants very much as we try to get more commercial tax dollars, and stabilize tax rates on residents.
Well, we wonder how Mrs. Trainor and her South Peabody neighbors feel now. That nice little, quiet bistro is now morphing into a noisy — and potentially disruptive — nightclub and hangout.
Ankeles and Palumbo will be back before the city council on Thursday to “amend” their entertainment license. They want to be able to have full-size bands in their new nightclub on that location. Rock? Reggae? Hip hop? A Three Dog Night Tribute band? In fact, these types of acts have already been playing there for months following a large expansion to the building. Maybe a couple of mediocre reviews about the food on Yelp made them look for an alternate revenue stream?
Clearly, they’re already not living up to the terms of what was originally agreed to in their special permit, which means the city council should do the right thing here by the neighborhood. Tell Mr. Palumbo that his nightclub needs to close its doors for now, and tell Mr. Ankeles to bring his client back for a proper special permit hearing, where the neighbors can weigh in, and where the rights of the residents can be protected.
Who knows? Maybe the neighbors like eating firecracker chicken pasta while listening to some Danny Hutton lookalike sing “Joy to the World.” But come on guys, do it right. Either it passes muster with the neighbors, or you go back to serving spicy sausage mussels without a side of hip hop or rock ‘n roll.