Saratoga County

Just how loud can the music at Siro’s be?

Siro’s, the upscale restaurant on Lincoln Avenue just a few hundred yards from Saratoga Race Course,
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Siro’s, the upscale restaurant on Lincoln Avenue just a few hundred yards from Saratoga Race Course, is satisfied with a new set of city guidelines for the eatery’s outdoor entertainment venue.

The city Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals held a joint meeting recently to pass a number of resolutions, including approval of a 14.5-foot acoustical fence, new outdoor operating hours, and some minor site plan changes.

“We will accept that,” said Robert Sweeney, attorney for Racing Restaurants of America, the new owners of Siro’s.

Sweeney said the owners feel they can live with the new city guidelines, even though they are a little more restrictive than they would like.

The restaurant is open only during the thoroughbred horse racing meet and a few other days during the year. During most evenings of the racing meet, live music is played outside of the restaurant in a patio-style courtyard.

Residents of Lincoln and Nelson avenues have complained about noise coming from the bands that play outside Siro’s during the summer months.

Rose Tait, for example, owns a three-apartment building at 164 Lincoln Ave. She said her apartments are set back off Lincoln and are in line with Siro’s outdoor bandstand.

Tait is not satisfied with the new operating hours and decibel limits the city has set for Siro’s. Tait said the 14.5 foot acoustical fence “won’t do much good.”

For the past six months the restaurant’s owners have been at odds with the city over the restaurant’s outdoor entertainment operating hours and conditions.

In April, Racing Restaurants of America filed a lawsuit against the city for imposing new restrictions in March on outdoor entertainment — including reduced outdoor operating hours and sound levels.

A state Supreme Court justice then issued a temporary restraining order against the city’s restrictions at the request of the Siro’s owners. But in May Siro’s started seeking changes to its special use permit, including a modified site plan that shows a 14.5-foot-high fence around the rear and side of the property.

The new land use applications were made despite the lawsuit. Sweeney said this week that he is working with the city attorney to end the lawsuit.

“I expect we would discontinue it,” Sweeney said. He said a final decision has not yet been made.

Both Siro’s and the city hired acoustical engineers to measure decibels outside the restaurant and near the property lines. The city stipulated that the average sound over three hours could not exceed 70 decibels. Siro’s wanted a 75 decibel level limit, according to Kate Maynard, the city’s principal planner.

The new hours for outdoor entertainment are 4 to 9 p.m. except for four nights during the racing meet when bands can play until 11 p.m..

Racing Restaurants of America has many investors, including actors Kevin Connolly and Kevin Dillon, who are stars of the HBO series “Entourage.”

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