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Lockport noise issues addressed; Tougher measure sought downtown

Alderman John Lombardi III said he will reintroduce a tougher noise ordinance for downtown Lockport, after a restaurateur said he can't deliver on promises to the city to move bands to a quieter location.

Brian Junke, co-owner of Lock 34 Bar & Grille, 80 Main St., said Friday that he is unable to move the outdoor music shows he features on weekend nights into the Ulrich City Centre courtyard, as he promised the Common Council on April 18 he would.

"It's out of my liquor license," Junke said Friday, meaning he is unable to serve alcohol that far from his building.

He said he made the promise to the Council to move the bands before he checked the terms of the license.

"I'll just have to reintroduce that noise ordinance," Lombardi said Friday after learning from a reporter about Junke's comments. "I've gotten a lot of complaints about the noise."

Lock 34, located in Ulrich City Centre, is directly across Main Street from Urban Park Towers, an apartment building whose residents have been complaining about the noise.

Bands have been playing until 1:30 or 2 a.m. in the archway leading from the sidewalk to the entrance of the business. On some nights, depending on wind and weather conditions, the music can be heard more than a mile away.

Lombardi, R-1st Ward, who represents the Towers, had proposed to ban live outdoor music after midnight Sunday through Thursday and after 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

But he withdrew the proposal after Junke and his partner, Chris Knapp, said cutting off the music sooner would cost them big money.

At Wednesday's Council work session, Lombardi had griped that Junke wasn't returning his calls.

Friday, he said, "If he couldn't have done it [moving the bands], he should have come to us and told us."

Junke said he will try to get the bands to control their volume better.

But he noted, "It's an entertainment district. It's been like that since 2007. That's why David Ulrich built this place."

Junke and Knapp bought the restaurant, originally known as Taboo, from Ulrich last year.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker said, "I don't think we can ever make it perfect for people at Urban Park Towers, but we can make it a little better."

The city's Labatt Canal Concert Series is held in the City Centre courtyard on Fridays during the summer, but those shows usually end by 11 p.m.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com