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293 Noise Complaints Were Made About One Astoria Lounge, Records Show

 Nearly 300 noise complaints were made about the Steinway Street bar, according to city records.
Nearly 300 noise complaints were made about the Steinway Street bar, according to city records.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

ASTORIA — A rooftop bar on Steinway Street has racked up almost 300 noise complaints from neighbors this year, prompting the local community board to reject its bid to renew a liquor license.

Sunset Lounge — which also operates under the promotional name Escape Penthouse — is located on the 6th floor of an office building at 32-72 Steinway St., where its loud music garnered 293 noise complaints to the city's 311 hotline from the start of 2015 to Dec. 9, city records show.

"That's a lot," said John Katsanos, head of Community Board 1's Consumer Affairs committee. "Even if some of them [the complaints] might have been similar, like the same person, it was pretty bad."

Although the bar hasn't yet filed an application with the State Liquor Authority to renew it's license — which expires on Dec. 31, according to the agency — it appeared before the committee earlier this month hoping to get it's blessing, and was denied during the full board meeting Tuesday due to the quality of life issues, according to Katsanos.

"They did not make an attempt to address the noise complaints when raised by community residents," Katsanos said.

But Sunsets Lounge's manager said the club has made efforts to cut back on noise, including spending $30,000 in July to install double-plated glass panes to soundproof the club.

"I believe it has reduced the noise," said manager Terrence McIntyre.

One of the main issues, according to McIntyre, has been trying to determine what level of sound they need to maintain to avoid getting complaints, and that instructions from police and the community board have been "vague."

"We still are operating a business. We lower the volume, but to what extent do we lower it?" he said.

"There’s no one on the community board or the law enforcement to give the business a gauge," he added. "That's all subjective."

A resident who lives near the club, but did not want his name to be published, told DNAinfo that the noise — which includes loud music and DJs "screaming into microphones" — has forced him to sleep in his living room and to keep his windows shut during warm weather.

"Our apartment would literally vibrate," he said, adding that while the noise has been better in recent months, it's still a problem. "To pay New York rent and not be able to sleep is ridiculous."

After failing to win over the community board, McIntyre said the bar's owners are still deciding whether to apply for a renewal.

"I wish this could have been resolved in a way where everybody's rights are being adhered to," he said.