Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

LO's Stickmen Brewery stuck with two noise citations and counting

Restaurant wants to feature live bands on its patio, but police say pub needs to turn it down

Four nights a week at Stickmen Brewery & Skewery, you can sit in on a live set by a local singer-songwriter, catch a rollicking cover band or hear a little bluegrass — all al fresco.

Live music throughout the summer has proven a popular draw for the Asian fusion-style restaurant and bar on State Street. But the entertainment lineup has also attracted an unprecedented number of noise complaints — at least 17 this year, according to Lake Oswego Police Chief Don Johnson.

“That’s a lot,” Johnson said, adding that in his three years as chief in Lake Oswego, he can’t recall any noise complaints related to live music at other businesses.

Owner Tim Schoenheit argues that his establishment has always been respectful of local noise ordinances, and that all live performances end by 10 p.m. Despite this, two $150 citations have been issued this summer regarding live music — one at 9 p.m., and one because of an indoor performance.

“The second time was odd, because it was actually a private event and it was a band inside,” Schoenheit said. “The officer who came said the noise outside was fine, except when someone would open the door to the patio outside. The 20 seconds when the door opened, that was unacceptable.”

Schoenheit took issue with such citations, saying he has been “proactive” about respecting local ordinances by approaching police and the city to make sure the live performances were not violating local laws.

On June 24, the business made an appeal on Facebook, asking followers who “enjoy live music” to call Johnson and let him know.

Meanwhile, Schoenheit said, he has been telling anyone who calls the brewpub to complain that his business has a “legal right to have live and recorded music up until the noise deadline.”

But Johnson cited city ordinance, which prohibits any loud, disturbing or unnecessary noise in the city at any time of day.

“Our music is quite a bit quieter than the music the city is putting on in various places, like the Festival of the Arts and the Foothills Park concerts,” Schoenheit said. “We were told by the police chief those events were immune from the law since they’re put on for the good of the community. Which we think is weird. We could be part of the summer concert series, too.

“We want the rules to be the same for everybody,” he added.

But while Schoenheit feels Stickmen features live entertainment that is respectful of city ordinance, Johnson said the police department is happy to work with the restaurant to lower the noise levels.

“I suggested they get a sound engineer,” Johnson said. “I can tell them that if they continue to play the music how they’ve been playing it, they’ll get citations.”

Johnson said the excessive noise issue is likely a simple matter of acoustics.

“What’s happening is (bands at Stickmen) are playing on the patio, and it faces the water, so water transmits music pretty well,” Johnson said, explaining that complaints have come from all over Lakewood Bay.

Add a comment

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy


Lake Oswego

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 78%

Wind: 6 mph

  • 22 Sep 2014

    Partly Cloudy 79°F 60°F

  • 23 Sep 2014

    Showers 73°F 61°F