In this week's paper, I wrote about Royal Booze and Burritos, a new Mexican-themed bar and restaurant on the north end of University Avenue that reportedly pissed off students and other residents in the area by playing loud music late into the night. Residents bitching about bars in their neighborhoods is nothing new, but when you have students complaining to the Washington State Liquor Control Board about a bar's conduct—and when you have the WSLCB issuing warnings to a bar before its even officially open—it's worth noting.
Royal's management didn't get back to me about the complaints before we went to press. Yesterday, they had a chance to respond.
"We're not trying to piss off our neighbors," says Chris Moore, manager of Royal. "The night we had people outside complaining, a private party was using our space. The bar wasn't even open yet. The cops came and said we weren't doing anything wrong, legally. They said we could continue." Moore says the music stopped at 1:00 a.m., not 1:45 a.m. as residents stated, and that someone spit on his bouncer. "It was a tense night."
But Moore says they don't want to fight with neighbors. They've has installed noise insulation on the outside of the bar to muffle sound and built a planter to hold bamboo to screen the apartments next door from our outside area, "and we've told people in the neighborhood to contact us with problems."
And when problems arise, Trevor Marsh, Royal's assistant manager, says the bar has been working with neighbors. "One of our walls had outdoor speakers that were touching the wall of the next door apartment building. The apartment manager complained, so we removed both speakers. We heard feedback on our floodlights being too bright so we changed them."
"We want to make this work," adds Moore. "We don't want to fight with anybody, we want to be a cool place in the neighborhood where people can go to unwind."
Moore and Marsh say Royal Booze and Burritos is the third bar they've opened in a year and half. One of their other bars, A-Pizza Mart (also on The Ave) received a citation from the WSLCB for over-service more than a year ago.