BRADENTON ---- Neighbors are continuing to complain about noise and parking hassles generated by a popular new restaurant overlooking the Manatee River, Bradenton City Council members said Wednesday.
Residents who live near Tarpon Pointe Grill & Tiki Bar, 801 Riverside Drive E., are bothered by music played at the open-air restaurant, along with other annoyances, such as the loud motorcycles of patrons, said City Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey at a City Hall workshop.
“The business has been a victim of its own success,” she said.
City Councilman Bemis Smith said the restaurant “took off much quicker than anybody over there expected.”
Smith said, however, that the city is in the process of addressing noise, restroom and parking dilemmas there.
The problem is that the same people who opposed commercial development there in the first place are now actually suffering its effects for the first time, Smith said.
He added he was not unsympathetic, but noted, “Without getting rid of Tarpon Pointe, or stopping any development down there, they are not going to be happy.”
“But the reality is we made a decision, and gave approvals based on the fact it’s been zoned commercial now 10 years,” Smith added.
Gary Janaczek, who lives across the river from the restaurant at Riviera Dunes, wrote recently in an email asking, “Why, on several evenings a week, I can hear the loud bass tones of amplifiers resonating into my home with all the windows closed?”
Janaczek added, “As a business owner, I understand one’s desire to generate profit by attracting customers. What I don’t understand is the city’s tolerance of, and individual business profiting at the expense of, the peace and quiet of the surrounding community.”
He concluded by saying he hoped never to have to “endure this annoyance while recuperating from an illness” as a patient at Manatee Memorial Hospital, a few blocks west of the restaurant.
Kelly Gotha, the restaurant’s proprietor, said Wednesday that she was disheartened to hear complaints.
“I haven’t had any complaints since August,” she said. “We’re following all the noise ordinances. It’s amplified music, but based on the ordinances, we’re not in violation, and we try to keep it down, because I’m truly respectful of the neighbors and the situation.”
The restaurant has already taken steps to solve parking problems, such as adding valet service and a shuttle system in which golf carts carry customers from a nearby parking lot, she said.
The restaurant offers amplified music from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 3 to 11 p.m. on weekends, Gotha said.
“Our goal is to have the community feel welcome there, everybody comfortable with what we’re providing, in cooperation with the residents,” she said.