Hush!
by Lisa A. Fraser
Jun 22, 2011 | 4604 views | 1 1 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“The name is Hush Lounge but it's a pity they wouldn't stay hush,” said Michael Harte, a resident of Maspeth for 27 years.

He's referring to Hush Cafe Lounge and Garden, located at 70-10 Grand Avenue in Maspeth. The establishment, he says, has had nearby residents up in arms for the last three years.

“They negatively impact our quality of life; They leave the rear doors open and very loud music blasts into our homes,” Harte told Community Board 5 members at last week's June meeting. “My wife and I live 100 feet from rear of the building, and we cannot sleep through the ruckus they create.”

Hush opened in 2007, and since then it has been an occasional nuisance to neighbors who live on 57th Road, which runs directly behind the bar.

Harte, the chair of the 57th Road Block Association in Maspeth, is not alone. Other residents along 57th Road between 70th and 73rd streets are literally feeling the impact of the bar.

“It vibrates the windows in my house,” said Joann Klug, a resident who also lives on 57th Road. “Once it was so bad, I had to turn up the T.V. to a ridiculous volume so that I could hear the set.”

Other residents on both ends of the block have also complained about windows vibrating and inability to sleep when the music gets loud.

Harte noted that one of his tenants moved out due to the noise, and he is in jeopardy of losing another one. The residents noted that although it is not a constant occurrence, when the noise level rises, it's annoying.

“I”m not against anybody making a living, but we shouldn't have to put up with that kind of inconvenience,” said Klug, who is retired. “I feel for my neighbors, it's just annoying and frustrating.”

This is not the first time that neighbors of Hush have voiced their concern. In 2008, the block association picketed in front of the lounge, with support from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, urging the establishment to live up to its name.

And though the loud music is mostly heard on weekends, the residents noted that recently, the weekly parties have been increasing.

There are over 150 complaints that were made to 311, as well as to the 104th Precinct, but residents say to no avail.

“[The police] would pull up and ask them to turn the volume down, but as they leave, it goes right up again,” Harte said.

Residents also say that at times the police do not show up until hours after the complaint is lodged. “When we call 311, it's the city's bureaucracy at work,” Klug said. Once, a complaint was issued at 2 a.m., but officers did not arrive at the lounge until 6 a.m.

Last weekend, to Harte's surprise, the back door of the lounge was closed and he was able to get a good night's sleep. But he is not expecting it to last.

“They told elected officials that they would soundproof their establishment, but they never did a thing," he said. "They have no concern whatsoever.”

Members of the block association are fighting for the bar to have its liquor license suspended. They have hopes that CB5 will help make that happen. A petition is being circulated around the block and it has already received 50 signatures.

“It should have never been here in the first place," Harte said. "A nightclub should never be in a residential neighborhood.”

Calls made to Hush Lounge by this paper were not returned as of press time.
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Kris477
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June 27, 2011
This part of Grand Avenue is COMMERCIALLY zoned so the fact that stores and bars line it is normal, instead of enjoying one of the few cool places in Maspeth to go to and enjoy some light food and drinks Mr. Harte is trying to close it down in a one man war, so let me ask Mr. Harte- does the noise CVS makes loading merchandise into the store bother you? Does the smell of Chinese food from across the street disturb you? Does the LIE in your back yard make you spend sleepless nights? I think certain people just need to get used to the idea that they live in NEW YORK CITY and NOT some quaint quiet village in Long Island or upstate.