LONG BEACH — Armed with an attorney and petitions from supportive neighbors, the new owner of a lounge formerly known as Club Sylvia again requested--and was denied--an unrestricted entertainment license.
City Council members Tuesday told Filiberto Magallanes he could not appeal their decision to restrict dancing and music to Fridays and Saturday nights before midnight at the nightclub at 6101 Cherry Avenue.
Because by law the council's decision was final, the owners' only recourse would be to the courts, City Atty. John Calhoun said.
Between February--when Magallanes and his wife, Rita, opened the lounge--and June 23, when the council voted on the application, Hacienda Magallanes had entertainment six days a week until 2 a.m. Police received no complaints and noise levels proved to be within acceptable range during the time the club operated on a temporary permit, according to city staff.
"They've been good neighbors for four months, with no complaints whatsoever," attorney James D. Turner said after the council meeting.
However, at the urging of Councilman Warren Harwood, council members last month approved only a restricted license for the club, which once catered to a homosexual clientele and was subject to noise and parking complaints.
The former bar's owners have lawsuits pending against Harwood, the city and a neighbor, charging they conspired to hurt the bar's business.
At last month's meeting, Harwood presented form letters signed by 66 residents, almost all opposing the bar. Turner said most of those signees were not immediate neighbors, in contrast to the 39 form letters in support he presented, which he said were signed by neighbors.
Since the council issued a restrictive license, business has been "going down," Magallanes said. The club now grosses an average $50 nightly, said Magallanes, down sharply from the $500 a night when there was a disc jockey playing records until 2 a.m.