by Bill Laitner

Detroit Free Press

July 14, 2010

When Royal Oak’s bar bands play, some residents say homes shake, rattle and roll.

So a proposal to open a restaurant with a rooftop band shell had some homeowners hopping mad. It even drew unflattering comments from a national group opposed to noise pollution.

With protesters pledging to crowd a public hearing today, the restaurateur planning the new eatery said he’d abandoned his rooftop idea.

“The rooftop will just have piped-in music,” Brian Kramer said Tuesday. Kramer — owner of Rosie O’Grady’s restaurants in Ferndale and Chesterfield Township and of the Cantina Diablo’s eatery in Ferndale — said community opposition was too strong.

“We’ll abide by the Royal Oak sound ordinance but, really, the motorcycles on the street will be louder,” he said. Kramer, 39, of Washington Township said he planned to buy the blues bar Memphis Smoke, at 11 Mile and Main, and invest $3 million to make it his second Cantina Diablo’s restaurant and dance hall.

The leader of condominium owners across 11 Mile from Memphis Smoke said that, although relieved, he still planned to lead dozens of neighbors today to City Hall to belt out their complaints.

“I just want to make sure the city hears our voices,” said Main Street Lofts association president Paul Jacobs, 62. “And we’re still concerned about the overall noise level.”

Last month, city planners’ proposal to ease noise limits throughout Royal Oak was held for further study.

Last week, Noise Free America in Albany, N.Y., a small nonprofit that advocates against noise pollution, gave Royal Oak its dubious Noisy Dozen award for July, for having a noisy downtown.

Five blocks from Memphis Smoke, in a conventional house, Sandra Wilkins said she was happy there won’t be bands on a rooftop. “But it concerns me that he says he’ll have piped-in music up there,” she said.

Contact BILL LAITNER: 586-826-7264

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