New bar giving nearby residents headaches

December 10, 2010 5:31:33 AM PST
A new bar in the Upper Kirby area has been open about a year and is already a Houston hot spot -- and that's a problem for some.

Those who live around the Red Room bar near Kirby and Westheimer say the bar and its patrons are making nights unbearable for the entire neighborhood.

The bar is open Thursday through Saturday night, so neighbors are gearing up for the battle once again this weekend. The area was still quiet around 10pm Thursday, but neighbors say it's later in the night when the noise becomes unbearable.

By day, it is a sleepy neighborhood that runs in Freddy Warner's family.

"My family has been here since the 30's," he said.

But once the sun goes down and people start making their way to Red Room, which is just around the corner and on the other side of his fence, Warner says the noise and his anxiety goes up.

"Basically you're counting down OK thinking it's 9:30, it's 10 o'clock. It's only a matter of time before you're going to start hearing the bass," Warner said.

For the last 15 months since the popular club on Virginia opened, Warner and his neighbors have suffered through many sleepless nights.

"We can hear the music in our bedroom in the front," he said.

He used to look forward to the weekend. Now he dreads it.

"Somebody's got to be on the phone calling the police; someone's got to be on the phone calling the club or texting the club, saying please turn the music down," Warner said.

Since February, Houston police have logged 26 complaints against Red Room.

"We log the calls that come in, what the issue is," Warner said.

Warner and his neighbors have organized. He says the complaints cover noise, speeding valets and criminal mischief. He also believes a parking lot resurfacing job has ruined his fence.

"The work that they did, they hit the supporting beams of our fence," Warner said.

The club denies causing the broken fence.

Brad Stearnes, Red Room's general manager, declined an on-camera interview but told Eyewitness News over the phone, "We're trying to work with our neighbors as much as possible, but it seems there's nothing we can do to resolve the situation."

"Do I wish they would go away? Yes. Is that realistic? No," Warner said.

Warner knows he lives amongst businesses. There are a dozen others in the neighborhood. He just wishes this one would be more neighborly.

"Turn the music down, get control of you patrons and get control of either your employees, your valets, the folks with whom you contract," he said.

Some residents have added extra insulation, including double-paned windows to mitigate the issue. Stearnes says the bar is within the law but will continue to monitor their music.


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