Mission on the Bay takes steps to make Swampscott residents happy after noise complaints

Mission on the Bay in Swampscott. (Owen O'Rourke)

SWAMPSCOTT — After hearing from some neighbors loud and clear, Mission on the Bay is taking a step to make them happy.

A soundproofing system, equipped with the same techno panels used at a number of nightclubs, and glass windows to fill the open air voids on the deck, is coming to the waterfront restaurant.

Mission on the Bay rolled out live music on its outdoor deck last summer. Residents in the area immediately began complaining about loud music, a few of them even appearing before the Board of Selectmen in February.

“I have been in contact with (Mission on the Bay owner Marty Bloom) and asked him to follow up with some physical improvements that we discussed at the board meeting in February,” said Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald. “He told me general contractors were installing soundproofing panels and that was something he said he’d be willing to do.”

Bloom heard the complaints and began regulating the noise levels from the deck. When the live music first began, they were issued an entertainment license that allowed them live music sounding at 85 decibels, which a number of residents claimed to be too loud. They were also told to ensure that music couldn’t be heard from 100 feet away.

“We kill the music at 11 p.m. and we’ve done everything that has been required by the town,” said Bloom. “If it’s not done, it’s in transit to get done because in our humble opinion we are in full compliance with what the town wants and we are spending extra money on this place left and right to satisfy all these complaints.”

Initially the restaurant was hosting live music until 11 p.m., seven nights a week. Now they’re sticking to the weekends, hoping that’s another way to mitigate noise complaints. Humphrey Street may be adored for its quaint, ocean view, but it is becoming another avenue for bringing in commercial businesses, according to Fitzgerald.

“Marty has attempted to try to mitigate some of the sound,” he said. “My job is to help ensure the town regulations are followed and I’m hopeful Mr. Bloom can continue to work with the neighbors to help balance the quality of life.”

Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan acknowledged the department has received a small number of noise complaints in regards to the Humphrey Street restaurant, but said officers always found them to be in compliance with the 100-feet ordinance.

Taso Nikolakopoulos, of Lynn, is a regular at Mission on the Bay. Although he loves the business itself, he acknowledged the live music was a bit disruptive on certain occasions.

“It’s a great place with a great ambiance, but I can see why people complain because it has been remarkably loud, even overbearing, at times,” he said.

Peter McNerney, a longtime Humphrey Street resident, has been very vocal about his dislike for the restaurant’s loud music. He was glad to hear about the soundproofing work being done.

“As soon as it’s completed, if it works, then I don’t care when they play and how loud they play inside,” he said. “I wish them luck and lots of success and if they’re good neighbors I want to be a good neighbor, too.”  

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