Saturday, November 19, 2016

Coping with El Tunel Restaurant

photo © Geonni Banner

For the fourth week in a row, or longer, we who life in the various apartments on W. Richmond Ave, in downtown Pt. Richmond have had to endure a loud and sometimes alarming Friday night.

The noise and disturbance comes from the El Tunel Restaurant patrons and staff.  

On one night alone we had in noisy succession, aggressively revving car engines and loud car radios, a bellowing security guard, squabbling and/or celebratory shouting from departing patrons, a distraught-sounding man charging about and screaming obscenities, and a long lasting and very annoying back-up indicator on the truck & trailer of the departing musicians.  All this took place between 12:30 AM and 3:00 AM.  

Last night we had a return of screaming obscenities and a rowdy departing crowd.  Also in the small hours of the night.

We have tried to work with the owner of El Tunel.  We have spoken politely with him, written letters of protest and finally, called the police.  

But the noise continues.

It is not only rude, and disrespectful of the neighborhood, but the shouting clientele and security guard, (who, according to the owner was hired to check incoming guests for weapons!) are distinctly incompatible with the normal character of the neighborhood as quiet and safe.

 A previous tenant at the El Tunel location.  photo © Geonni Banner

This is not about race, class or even personal taste.  It is about respecting one’s neighbors.  We don’t want El Tunel to leave.  We simply want them to show a little consideration to the people who live close by. 

We understand that a place which is open so late will generate some noise.  And if it were simply a matter of tipsy patrons congratulating each other with how much fun they’ve had, we could simply close our windows and ignore it as best we could.

But to be awakened at 2AM by someone screaming F--- YOU! and the N-word, even though our windows are closed and we are by nature sound sleepers, is not acceptable.

We are informed that a large outdoor area beside the building is being prepared for these late-night revels.  It seems likely that this will make things worse – not better.

What kind of clientele are the folks at El Tunel attracting that they have to check them for weapons at the door?  And why can they not respond to civil entreaties from their neighbors to show some consideration.  

We do not look forward to a continuing period of disturbance, but if it occurs, we will call the police whenever things get too rambunctious, and build a case with the ABC, the police, and the City Council. 

Of course it would be better if El Tunel would make an effort to keep the noise down, but that does not seem to be their intention.  More’s the pity.

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