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habana cafe

Habana Cafe seeks permission for nightly live music (UPDATED)
WRITTEN BY :   Eric Pierce

UPDATE: The Planning Commission followed staff’s recommendation, allowing Habana Cafe to have live entertainment until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

Popular Cuban restaurant Habana Cafe has submitted an application to expand its live entertainment to 2 a.m. daily, seven nights a week, although city officials are skeptical of approving the request.

The Planning Commission will take up the issue at tonight’s meeting.

Located at 11402 Old River School Rd., Habana Cafe’s live entertainment is currently limited to a three-piece band near the restaurant’s rear bar.

The restaurant is proposing to eliminate the restriction on the number of live musicians allowed at one time, and permission to host a nightly DJ and karaoke. The restaurant also wants to install a 230 sq. ft. dance floor.

In a staff report, city officials said they had “concerns” about loud noise filtering to nearby homes and businesses. Instead they offered a compromise: up to five live musicians, and permission for a DJ, karaoke and dance floor.

But live entertainment would be limited to 6-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. No live entertainment would be allowed Sundays.

“With respect to the requested time changes, staff finds that excluding Sunday and limiting weekday live entertainment hours from 6-9 p.m. will allow patrons to clear the restaurant earlier in the evening and thereby lessen the impacts of adjacent properties, while the proposed weekend hours for live entertainment are consistent with recent Planning Commission approvals,” community development director Aldo Schindler wrote in a staff report.

City officials also recommended other conditions of approval, including no cover charges, the restaurant cannot operate as a banquet facility (meaning it cannot close to the public for a private event), and a full menu must be available at all times.

“Night club activity” is also not allowed.

Two weeks ago, the Planning Commission denied a similar live entertainment request by the Wet Bar in south Downey after residents complained of noise and other issues.

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014, WEB ONLY
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