ShareThis Page

James Street Gastropub to close down over repeated noise complaints

| Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, 6:39 a.m.
The James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy in the North Side.
The James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy in the North Side.

The general manager of the James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy in Pittsburgh's East Allegheny neighborhood said the business will close next month because of repeated noise complaints from neighbors.

In a Facebook post Wednesday night, Kevin Saftner wrote that the establishment's last day will be Nov. 11. His parents had bought the club in 2011, hiring him as general manager and booking agent.

"We recently were warned that we may be made a nuisance bar due to the numerous complaints we get from our neighbors," he wrote. "The issues became so frequent that we decided we were no longer welcome here."

A staple of Pittsburgh's jazz and live music scene, James Street had been subject to numerous noise complaints from neighbors despite its efforts to add soundproofing, with help from a fundraising campaign , that would prevent music from spilling out onto the street. State law says noise from a liquor licensee's sound system can't travel beyond its property line.

The State Police Bureau of Liquor Control had cited the establishment in the middle of the Deutschtown Music Festival last year , throwing its liquor license into jeopardy.

Saftner urged his supporters to hire his staff members and expressed hope that the final weeks for the club could be enjoyable. He noted that "99 percent of our neighbors are the best neighbors in the world... I bought a house on the Northside. I won't be going anywhere."

During a news conference on an unrelated matter Thursday, Mayor Bill Peduto called James Street a cultural asset and said the city would try to mediate the situation with neighbors in an attempt to keep the tavern open.

He said Kevin Acklin, his chief of staff, spoke with James Street's owners after hearing news of the closing.

"We aren't asking the neighbors to have to sacrifice and be able to live with a constant presence of noise, but at the same time we want to be able to see what we could do to minimize any negative impact and to be able to make sure that the James Street tavern remains a part of Pittsburgh's fabric," the mayor said.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, or on Twitter @msantoni.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me