LAKELAND, Fla. - A trendy wine bar and restaurant in Lakeland's historic district has planned to expand into outdoor entertainment, complete with live bands on its front patio.
This week the city of Lakeland approved lifting noise restrictions on the Red Door Wine Market, which opened its doors at its Palmetto St. location in January. The establishment sits in an odd spot, as a public library, a museum, an apartment building, and another restaurant are all within a stone's throw from Red Door.
"We're not looking to have big rock bands, and we're going to operate under the noise restrictions of the city," said Red Door owner Richard DeAngelis.
Until Wednesday, the restaurant was in violation of several city noise ordinances for playing music in the front patio on a speaker, but the planning and zoning board will now allow Red Door to have not only recorded music, but live performances in the evening until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and until 11 p.m Thursday through Saturday.
"We're not looking to book a band like Aerosmith," DeAngelis said.
Still, some residents in the area are wary of allowing the restaurant to expand its ability to have live shows, for fear that it will lead to an escalation of noise.
"I do have concerns to that," said Christina Sostilio, who lives down the street from Red Door. "With other places it's ridiculous because they like to go past a certain hour," Sostilio said.
Lakeland resident Eric Burke is optimistic that Red Door will be responsible when it comes to noise, but he opposes music that might wake up the neighborhood.
"If it's keeping people up, no. We have a lot of students who live in this area as well as older people and retirees," Burke said. "If it's disturbing them that's definitely a negative."
An apartment building is right next door to Red Door, and a resident complained to the zoning board on Tuesday that people are blocking the driveway when they show up at Red Door.
But Red Door's owner said he has received more support than opposition from both businesses and residents nearby, and intends to move forward with his entertainment plan.
"We're just looking to have interesting ambient music," DeAngelis said.
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