OFF THE WIRE
Residents complain about motorcycle noise at bar
By Michael J. Ballway
STERLING — Unruly customers could be putting Stephen T. Kilcoyne’s business at risk.
Selectmen, acting as the liquor licensing board, have asked Mr. Kilcoyne to appear at tomorrow night’s meeting to discuss alleged excessive noise and off-premises consumption of alcohol at his bar, 140 Rendezvous at 344 Redemption Rock Trail (Route 140). The charges arise from an altercation in October and from neighbors’ complaints over the summer that some of his patrons are disturbing the peace with excessive motorcycle noise.
Mr. Kilcoyne said he does ask his patrons to be courteous when leaving the bar, but Redemption Rock Trail (Route 140) resident David S. Mack, who brought the noise complaint, said state law can hold a bar owner responsible for the actions of his customers.
“I wish people would respect the neighborhood more,” said Mr. Mack. “The last I checked, my wife and I didn’t buy a house near a biker bar. We bought a home in a neighborhood, where there happens to be a pub. … We don’t begrudge the business. We don’t really have a problem with the bar. Excessive noise is what the complaint is about.”
In a prepared statement, Mr. Kilcoyne said he has never been cited by police since he bought the bar in 1998. After neighbor complaints about motorcycle noise 12 years ago, he put up signs in the bar “to alert patrons to the need for courteous departures.” The bar has had licenses to serve alcohol indoors and outdoors since the 1950s, he added.
Mr. Mack said he welcomes many of the motorcycle events at 140 Rendezvous.
Recent rides sponsored by Veterans Inc. and other groups have brought 150 to 250 riders at a time to his neighborhood, turning on to Route 140 right in front of his house, but riding respectfully and not disturbing the neighborhood.
On Oct. 9, as one of these charity rides was passing his house, an unrelated group of five to six bikers revved their engines while leaving 140 Rendezvous, “and made more noise than the entire group of the 150,” Mr. Mack recalled.
Police Chief Gary M. Chamberland agreed that modified exhaust pipes and loud engine revving are a problem. In one four-hour period last summer, his department issued more than 100 citations to motorcyclists outside 140 Rendezvous.
“The people in that neighborhood have a right to have peace and quiet,” he said.
Mr. Kilcoyne said his business has helped contribute $47,000 to worthy causes such as the veterans’ shelter, the Sterling Fair, local youth sports, Locks of Love and Make-a-Wish Foundation, by hosting their fundraisers. He said these events always end before 9 p.m. out of respect for the neighbors.
“Sometimes, the information gets confused and the results can have severe consequences,” Mr. Kilcoyne wrote in his statement. “The loss of the outdoor license would result in the end of all fundraising events and activities that we currently sponsor. The livelihood of many full-time and part-time employees, sponsorship for town teams, and fees and taxes to the town are all at stake.”
The public hearing will be held at 7:15 p.m. tomorrow in Room 205 of the Butterick Municipal Building, 1 Park St.