Last Call in Hannibal Square

Last Call in Hannibal Square

Last call for alcohol in Hannibal Square could soon stretch to 2:00 am, but people drinking after 10:00 pm will have to keep things down to a dull roar.

Hannibal Square Rules Would Be Same as the Rest of the City

Planning & Zoning voted October 1 to recommend two ordinances that would bring rules in Hannibal Square into line with those in the rest of the City. The first ordinance would extend hours for alcohol sales and consumption in Hannibal Square to 2:00 a.m., as it is in the rest of the City. The second would apply the same noise controls that exist within the Central Business District to Hannibal Square.

Hannibal Square restaurateurs, particularly Vincent Gagliano of Chez Vincent, have for years tried to persuade the City to bring the rules on last call into line with those governing the rest of the City. Currently, closing time in Hannibal Square is 11:00 pm Sunday through Thursday and Midnight Friday and Saturday. Closing time on Park Avenue and in the rest of the City is 2:00 am Monday through Saturday and Midnight on Sunday.

Early Closing Costs Hannibal Square Businesses

Gagliano and other restaurateurs complain that the 11:00 pm closing requirement sends Hannibal Square clientele over to Park Avenue to continue their revels, costing Hannibal Square establishments hours of potential business.

Residents Worried About Noise

In 1995, when the CRA revitalization of New England Avenue and Hannibal Square began, area residents at the time were concerned about noise from bars and restaurants.

CRA Wanted Restaurant, Not Night Club, District

While the CRA’s goal was to create a restaurant district but not a bar and nightclub district, one of the first establishments to locate in Hannibal Square was Dexter’s, where live music was an integral part of the business model. Bands played on week nights as well as on weekends and sometimes, in nice weather, they played outside. In deference to the neighbors, the City established earlier closing hours and strict noise controls for Hannibal Square.

Noise Regulations – Loud & Clear

According to City Planner Jeff Briggs, back in the 1980s, Park Avenue also had a noise problem in the evenings. The solution was an ordinance that created a violation if one could hear the sound from 50 feet away from an establishment. The ordinance recommended by P&Z prohibits “any person, business or establishment between the hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am to make noise that unreasonably disturbs the peace” and that is “. . .in excess of 50 dBA as measured with a sound level meter inside any receiving property.”

What this means is, if someone’s peace is being disturbed, he or she can call the police, who will bring their sound meter and, if the noise exceeds 50 dBA, ask the offending party to quiet down.

What’s in a Decibel?

Decibel levels, or dBA measurements, are meant to approximate the way the human ear hears sound. According to a local engineer familiar with this issue, a jet engine is 100 to110 dBA, a motor cycle with straight pipes produces 90 dBA, a vacuum cleaner about 70 dBA, normal conversation level in a restaurant is 50 – 60 dBA and a whisper is around 30 dBA.

Next Step is the Commission

As with any ordinance, there will be two hearings by the Commission. As of this writing, no date has been set.

 

  • author's avatar

    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

  • author's avatar

3 replies
  1. WP Bar Tab says:

    The City should adopt the existing Hannibal Square operating hours throughout Winter Park.

    11:00 pm / 12:00 am are civilized hours.

    2:00 am is not civilized, folks.

    The only people in bars at 2:00 am are apartment dwellers.

    And the only reason a majority of commissioners would want 2:00 am is so developers can build more apartments on the West Side and on the coming Orange Avenue overlay and fill them up with lounge lizards.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous says:

    This issue will come up again when the Orange Ave Overlay changes come

    up for votes. When any business is able to enter/border a well established

    residential neighborhood, there must be consideration given to noise &

    traffic levels. These rules should be on the books prior to the changes, as

    they were in Hannibal Sq. Businesses can agree to abide by the rules

    or find another location. WP is primarily a residential city. Perhaps we

    should be focused on the regulations that protect our residents from the

    intrusions which insist that we change our character. “If you can’t stand

    the heat . . . “

    Reply
  3. Mr. Kiamoto says:

    No more “deference to the neighbors,” I guess. I wonder how many P&Z members live anywhere near the area in question? None, eh? How about City Commission members? Another, “None.” Can anyone imagine Leary and his cohorts approving a CRA district near his home, with liquor sold until 2:00am? I think not. And I thought Chez Vincent was a restaurant, not a bar. Well, let’s change the rules to the detriment of the neighbors, to help the profits of Dexters and Chez Vincent. Makes perfect sense to me. It’s the American way! Profits over residents!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

NOTE: All comments are held for moderation. Comments containing personal attacks or inappropriate language will not be posted. If you don't see your comment, please be patient. It may be posted soon. Do not post your comment a second time. Thank you.

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.