Grove residents complain on venues' loud music

St. Louis (KSDK) - It's one of St. Louis's most up and coming neighborhoods, but recently, The Grove has been going through some growing pains.

The issue stems from two new music venues, The Ready Room and The Demo, and the residents who live behind them. Two of those neighbors are Rachel Siegert and Brad Fratello.

Both said they invested their money in the area because they enjoy living right off the Manchester strip.

"I want everything on the Manchester strip to succeed, I want it to thrive," said Fratello, who built his home on a formerly vacant lot.

Fratello and Siegert said they even hope for success for the two music venues whose back walls literally border their backyards. The space was formerly a warehouse.

"I want them to succeed. I want us to be able to live peacefully with one another," Fratello said.

But, the residents say so far, there's been no peace.

"I've slept at friend's home down the street a couple of times when they had shows … it's that bad," Siegert said.

"I lived on Washington Avenue for six years, and I never had noise problems like this," Fratello said.

They say the problems intensified in May when the second of the two venues, The Demo, opened with a temporary liquor license. But last month, residents succeeded in getting the city to pull that license, which closed the bar temporarily.

"We're not trying to close anybody down but don't feel like we have any other alternative at this point," Fratello said.

So, The Demo had to move its scheduled concerts to other venues as it petitions for a permanent license so it can reopen.

"I don't think we want this neighborhood to be pro-business and anti-resident or vice versa. We want this to be something where both sides have their voices heard," said The Demo partner Mike Cracchiolo. "We love this neighborhood. We thought it was a really exciting, diverse, upcoming neighborhood for this type of content."

And the music venues' owners said they're willing to work on soundproofing.

"It's a pretty serious undertaking, but I would stress it's one that's been in process the whole time," Cracchiolo said.

But, neighboring residents said they want the process complete before the music starts playing again.

"It's not a case of us having unrealistic expectations with the sound. It's just a matter of, a live music venue needs to have sound proofing. And that's all we want," Siegert said.

To reopen, The Demo will have to get a simple majority of signatures from the residents and businesses in the immediate area. Owners said it hopes to get those signatures and reopen by the end of the summer.


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