Tavern at A Granted Entertainment License Over Neighbor Opposition
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Tavern at the A on the General Electric Athletic Course (GEAA) is under new management and is staged for weeklong live music despite pushback from some abutters.
On Monday, the Licensing Board approved an amended weekday entertainment license for the bar that was recently acquired by the former owner of Skyline Country Club in Lanesborough, James Mitus.
The weekday entertainment license permits "The A" to have live and recorded music events until 10 p.m. from Monday to Wednesday, 11 p.m. on Thursday, and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Originally, the bar indicated that it wanted to be permitted for entertainment from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. every day except for Sunday, which requires a state license. The schedule was curtailed at the request of concerned neighbors who signed a petition opposing a weeklong entertainment license.
Christine Adams of Clark Road represented the neighborhood at the meeting. The abutters have no experience with the bar's current owners and were speaking on experience with its previous owners.
Adams claimed that she and her neighborhood have coexisted with The A for a number of years with the understanding that disturbances from its events, though inconvenient, are only occasional.
"We understand the business needs and we have lived with the current license for years as disruptive at times as it's been because we've tried to be good neighbors," she asserted. "But an everyday license is unacceptable to us."
She reported noise, people lighting firecrackers on the golf course, and people leaving the bar to park on Clark Road and litter non-kid-friendly items on the ground.
"This is a residential neighborhood and I know they've existed for a long time, but there are houses all around so the first fact is that everyone considers is the noise, there's noise from the music, there's little or no buffer to prevent the music, usually it's the bass," Adams said.
"Some of the customers from the A, once it closes, tend to travel down Clark road to the turnaround, does a turn around down there and park, the next day, and this isn't all the time, but whenever there's an event, there's always an uptick of this empty nips, drug paraphernalia, and used condoms on the ground. There are children in this neighborhood."
Board member Kathy Amuso suggested the compromise that permitted music until 1 a.m. only on Fridays and Saturdays.
Fellow member Richard Stockwell added that this is the first time the board has heard of these issues from abutters.
"I've been on the board for quite a few years and this is the first time I've heard any complaints about noise coming from the GEAA," he said. "This is the first time that in eight or nine years that I've been on the board that I've been hearing this."
Mitus held the Skyline's entertainment license for 35 years with no issue, The A's new manager Hailey Satrape said, and does not plan to spark issues with the neighborhood.
"We're right now just kind of focusing on the golf course itself, and the golfers, and the members there, and we're not really, I'm not really, looking to it be like it was before with bands every Friday and Saturday night at this point," she explained. "But we do need an entertainment license because we are doing banquets, we are doing functions, and we plan to continue to and have live entertainment."
Satrape added that many neighbors are just happy to see a new business after the economic decline caused by COVID-19 and felt that they are being unfairly judged from the bar's past.
She has been in contact with the Pittsfield Police Department to discuss security strategies when entertainment returns.
"I feel like we're kind of getting put in a category that was not us," she said.
The panel did not disclose when the bar was shuttered, but it was implied to not be operating during the pandemic and re-opened under Mitus' management in June.
The Skyline had been marketed for some time and was bought by investment firm Milltown Capitol for $750,000 early this year.
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