News

Neighbors remain upset with noise in, around Mo’s Pub

Damien Cortez hands Barbara Phelps, a Langley resident, a pint at Mo’s Pub and Eatery on Second Street and takes Rita Searle’s order Thursday afternoon. The bar and restaurant has been the source of a battle between nearby residents, the bar’s owners and Langley city leaders.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Damien Cortez hands Barbara Phelps, a Langley resident, a pint at Mo’s Pub and Eatery on Second Street and takes Rita Searle’s order Thursday afternoon. The bar and restaurant has been the source of a battle between nearby residents, the bar’s owners and Langley city leaders.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Four Langley residents reminded the city council Tuesday that they are unhappy neighbors of Mo’s Pub and Eatery on Second Street.

Noise issues persist, they said, disrupting their home life and sleep, and not just on weekends. They informed the council of recurring problems with noise inside and outside the popular tavern, which is nested among several residential houses.

The latest flurry of complaints is in response to a letter Langley Director of Community Planning Jeff Arango sent to neighbors. It was a notice alerting them of a recent request by bar owner Maureen Cooke for an amended ordinance that would allow more musicians to perform in the pub.

“We live in a state of constant anxiety,” said Socorro Rodriguez, who added that she has regretted living next to the pub.

“Over the past year, we’ve had quite a bit of buyer’s remorse,” she said, adding that she moved to Langley from Bainbridge Island to live in a smaller community.

Councilwoman Rene Neff reminded the residents that the process the city was undertaking with Cooke and the pub was in a listening phase, and that the council was not expected to take action any time soon.

Last year, Cooke addressed the council about changing the ordinance that currently allots six permitted amplified music performances per year, all of which must be approved by the council. Cooke questioned the ordinance after complaints that she was bending the rules with what she called low-volume amplified performances.

In a May 2013 city council meeting, Cooke brought local cellist Siri Bardarson and a saxophone performer to demonstrate the difference between low-volume amplified music and loud music that did not require amplification.

Cooke, who did not attend the council meeting Tuesday, said the neighbors’ complaints were wearing her out.

“They’re trying to kill a cash cow,” she said. “We have not made any extra noise at all.”

As a result, Mo’s Pub — the business and the property — are for sale. Cooke said business took a dip with the music performance restrictions. One of her bartenders attested to the same problem, especially on Tuesdays which used to have a draw for live music that he said ended by 8:30 p.m.

“The whole thing is for sale,” Cooke said. “I’m so sick of Langley.”

A couple of patrons sat at the bar shortly after it opened Thursday afternoon, ordering a pint of cider each. As regulars, they disagreed with neighbors’ assessments of the type of crowd that gathers at the pub.

“Without Mo’s, there would be no point to be in Langley after hours,” said Barbara Phelps, a Langley resident. “It’s not a place people come to get screamin’-ass drunk.”

Though Cooke requested the city review the ordinance and consider allowing more amplified music performances, or adding a decibel level to the restriction, the matter would go to the city’s Planning Advisory Board before being heard by the council.

Arango, the city’s chief planner, said it was unlikely the planning board would amend the rules given the city council’s comments at the Tuesday meeting.

“I wasn’t sensing a lot of interest from the council to make changes to the ordinance,” he said.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 16 edition online now. Browse the archives.