Sleepless at Shenanigans: Business to address repeated noise complaints

Mar 5, 2024

Shenanigans Bar and Grill, a business at 2691 Cranberry Highway, sits only a few hundred feet away from the Greyfield condominium complex. 

The nearness of the bar and grill to the condos, according to condominium residents, can easily be heard. 

The Select Board held an informational hearing on Tuesday, March 5 to discuss repeated noise complaints made against Shenanigans by its neighbors. Because it was an informational hearing, the discussion was aimed at a voluntary solution to the problem, rather than a mandate placed down from the town such as would result from a disciplinary hearing. 

Select Board Chair Judith Whiteside said she had received something in the range of 45 to 50 noise complaints regarding Shenanigans over the past three years, an amount she called "unacceptable."

The three Greyfield residents who spoke at the meeting attested to the noise from the establishment. According to the residents, the noise kept them up at night and affected their health and quality of life. 

The worst of the noise came when the bar had entertainment on an outdoor stage, while the noise from inside the Shenanigans building was muffled but still audible, residents said. They added concerns about the noise from guests on the bar and grill's patio as well as from vehicles leaving in the early hours of the morning, and said that discussions with representatives of Shenanigans had not resulted in lasting change. 

Steve Hurlburt, founder and owner of Shenanigans, acknowledged the business' issues with noise. Himself and Patrick Tropeano, a former Select Board member who came in to consult the business through its issues, told the Select Board of their plans to remedy neighbors' concerns. 

Hurlburt and Tropeano said they had already stopped having outside performances, and would be working with sound engineers to mitigate the issues through measures such as screening material around the property and soundproofing the building. 

Members of the Select Board pointed out that Shenanigan's license did not allow for outdoor entertainment. Tropeano agreed, and said he remembered that point from when he had approved Shenanigan's license as a member of the Select Board. 

While Hurlburt intended to address the problem, an outstanding property issue deterred him from making any investment into the property at present. 

One of the entrances to the Shenanigans property runs across a piece of land owned by another individual. Hurlburt has tried to buy that property, and had a purchase and sale signed, but conversations about that piece of property have not concluded, he said. 

Depending on the outcome of that property issue, Hurlburt said he may not be able to stay in business. 

The Select Board set a tentative date of Tuesday, April 9 for Hurlburt to return for further discussion and to present a plan for remedying the sound issues.