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Hagerstown bar could face discipline for loud music, noise

April 17, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- A North Mulberry Street bar could face disciplinary actions for playing loud music on numerous occasions.

Adam O'Brien, owner of Decourcy's Pub at 139 N. Mulberry St. in Hagerstown, appeared Wednesday before the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County to answer allegations that his business was causing too much noise.

Liquor inspector Robert Shoemaker said he visited the bar on three separate occasions and reported that on the nights of March 27 and April 3, he observed loud music coming from the bar and people standing outside smoking cigarettes.

Several of the smokers were causing a lot of noise simply by talking to each other, Shoemaker said. The music, however, could be heard up to 250 feet from the bar.

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Shoemaker said he told O'Brien that the problem would have to be addressed. On a third visit April 10, Shoemaker said O'Brien seemed to be making an attempt to comply with the order.

Smokers in the front of the building had been directed to a quieter area, and the music was being played at a lower volume, Shoemaker said.

"The situation has changed," Shoemaker said. "That's basically it."

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh disagreed. Nigh, who lives about five blocks away from Decourcy's, told the liquor board that she still gets noise complaints from residents in that neighborhood.

"This is what I've been getting for some time," Nigh said. "I have been following this all along ... I don't live that far away. I am on top of it."

O'Brien said he was doing all he could to keep the noise level at a minimum.

"We're doing the best we can," he said.

If liquor officials find Decourcy's Pub committed any wrongdoing, the business could be fined up to $2,500 and have its liquor license suspended for 30 days, said Robert Everhart, chairman of the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County. The liquor board will make its decision within 30 days.

Everhart said businesses typically don't receive the maximum penalty.

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