Noise complaint spikes controversy in Fan district - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Restaurant noise complaint spikes controversy in Fan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A fight over noise is brewing in Richmond's fan district! Some neighbors are sounding off, saying one restaurant needs to turn the volume down at night.

Neighbors and the owner of Balliceaux are trying to get to the bottom of a complaint that has taken a nasty turn.  

A local music store owner voiced his concerns about noise. Now there's an online campaign to boycott his business.

Balliceaux is at the center of this noise debacle. The restaurant's owner says he's willing to do whatever it takes to make his neighbors happy and fix this problem.

During the day, Balliceaux looks quiet and unassuming. But some neighbors say at night, it's a different story.

"It's just being disturbed late at night- not being able to sleep because of the noise," said Fan District Association President, Roger Whitfield.

"They always have good live music, but it's never too loud," said neighbor, Darren hall. "Honestly, we hear more cars driving by with loud music than anything at Balliceaux."

Whitfield says one neighbor brought her concerns to a meeting in April. The minutes show Kate Horne complained about noise, sanitation, rodents, and possible ABC violations. Whitfield says he asked her to get more neighbor's feedback to see if there's actually something to address.

"We're not trying to respond to just one person but to a prevalent complaint," Whitfield added.

The woman's husband, who also complained, owns Metro Sound and Music on west Broad street. Now a website,, is calling for people to boycott the shop. We stopped by, but the owner wasn't there.

According to Richmond Police, only one noise complaint has been filed against Balliceaux this year. I spoke to the restaurant's owner, Steve Gratz, on the phone.

"It's important that people we share the neighborhood with are happy with our business," said Gratz. "We are absolutely willing to do what it takes to be a good neighbor."

Gratz says as soon as he received complaints he started sound-proofing the backdoor and windows.

"With soundproofing the wall and things like that, I think they're trying," said Amber Niewald who lives two block away from Balliceaux.

Niewald and neighbors who live nearby say they have no problem at all. They say the noise comes with the neighborhood. 

NBC 12 tried getting in touch with the couple who filed the complaints but has not heard back from them yet.

We're told they may be trying to get a petition signed and then present it to the Fan District Association. 

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