Cafe Tallulah's Sidewalk Cafe Gets OK After Soundproofing

By Emily Frost on June 3, 2014 3:17pm 

UPPER WEST SIDE — A local restaurant and nightlife venue that residents complained blared music late into the night has garnered support for its sidewalk cafe permit after taking measures to cut down on noise.

The owner of Cafe Tallulah, the French bistro and lounge on Columbus Avenue between West 71st and 72nd streets, told Community Board 7 Monday he has spent at least $2,000 to mitigate the noise from the bar and rooftop exhaust system. 

The measures were enough to satisfy the board, which gave advisory approval to the restaurant's permit renewal for its 40-seat enclosed sidewalk cafe, based on evidence the eatery complied with the board's request for addressing the noise. 

After hearing about incessant chatter and thumping music from residents who share a wall with the restaurant, the board required owner Greg Hunt to put a limiter on his sound system that he said was completed in late May. 

Residents also complained about a 24-hour rooftop exhaust system causing sleepless nights. At the insistence of the board, Hunt placed a wooden enclosure around it to muffle its sound and added a timer that automatically turns it off at midnight and back on at 9 a.m., he said. 

While the board was satisfied, residents testified they were angry to learn that plaster along the adjoining wall had been removed during the restaurant's construction to expose the brick underneath — a move that made the wall less soundproof, they claimed. 

Hunt said he wanted to be a good neighbor, but that exposed brick was something "every restaurant in New York wants."

George Zeppenfeldt-Cestero, co-chairman of CB7's Business and Consumer Issues Committee, argued it was time for the board to move on. 

"If the noise becomes an issue with regulatory agencies, the appropriate fine will be assessed," he said.

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