The “Thirsty Pig” squealed its slippery way through its application for an “entertainment without dance” license on Monday evening before the Portland City Council. That was because neighbors of the 37 Exchange Street watering hole came to the meeting armed with complaints as well as facts about the noise from the outdoor amplification of music – for which it is not licensed, incidentally.
Allison Stevens, owner of the watering hole that caters to summer tourists, represented herself as well as an attorney from Verrill & Dana at the meeting which seemed to “hog” an unusually long amount of time on the busy Council agenda Monday evening. The Marathon Meeting lasted for seven (7) hours.
“I hope that you will consider not just the tourists, but the residents of the area who are affected by the amplification of music outside on the deck,” said Elizabeth Boepple, a resident of the area as well as a local business owner. “That noise is invading the peace and quiet of the neighbors. There is an ineffective noise complaint system,” Boepple, who is also a member of the city’s planning board, told the Council this past Monday.
“They have no right to have amplified music on their outdoor deck. They have been in violation of their license for six years,” Patrick Frank, a long-time nearby resident told the Portland City Council. (See above left photo of Frank.) “They thumbed their noses at my wife whenever she called them to turn down the outdoor amplified music,” said Frank whose wife was battling cancer. “They flaunted their license.”
Back in 2011, the “Thirsty Pig” applied for a license for entertainment to be provided both indoors and outdoors, but with amplification ONLY to be used indoors according to a memorandum provided by Anne Torregross, associate corporation counsel, to Mayor Strimling and the City Council. The two-page memo, dated December 12, 2017, said that while the complaints have not met the threshold requirements to be referred to the Sound Oversight Committee of the Portland Police Department, it outlined actions the council could take, because it has been functioning in violation of its license.
Owner Stevens acknowledged that even after she had been informed by the Portland Police Department last fall that she was acting in violation of her license, she continued to use outdoor amplification on her Market Street deck.
In the end the Council decided to renew a “conditional” license that does not permit outdoor amplification (like microphones) and must be reviewed next year for compliance.