WESTBROOK — Seven concerts have been scheduled so far at Rock Row and this week, the City Council gave the OK for alcohol to be served at those shows.
The council Monday approved 4-0 a liquor license for Waterfront Concerts, a Bangor-based concert company that will be holding up to 16 shows at Rock Row’s Maine Savings Pavilion between May and September. Councilor Ann Peoples and Council President Gary Rairdon were absent, and councilor Lynda Adams recused herself because she “is in negotiations with (Rock Row owner) Waterstone Properties Group over a business matter.”
The council’s decision on the liquor license will be sent to the state Bureau of Alcoholic Beverage and Lottery Operations for final approval.
City Economic Development Director Daniel Stevenson said the bureau doesn’t have any issue with Waterfront’s application, nor has there been any issues with prior liquor licenses the company has held in Portland and Bangor.
Jon Dow, general manager of Waterfront Concerts, said the company, which has its catering license, will be providing the alcohol and food.
“There is no profit for us outsourcing alcohol sales. It’s our primary driver, food as well. It is one of the metrics we determine success of the venue on,” Dow said.
During the Planning Board permitting process, Josh Levy, principal of Waterstone Properties Group, said the intent is to operate the venue for up to five years to see if it can be successful. If it is, it will be relocated to another part of the property.
Councilor Mike Foley said one of his concerns is approving a liquor license for a venue that has not yet been built.
“This is a facility that does not yet exist, so not knowing how things will lay out and (how) things will be impacted (is difficult). We’ve approved liquor licenses in neighborhoods and all kinds of things, and they have been negatively impacted in the past and all of a sudden people are coming back and they are upset licenses have occurred,” he said.
He said he doubts that will be the case with concerts at Maine Savings Pavilion, but Councilor Victor Chau said if there are issues, the Waterfront Concerts team should work with Rock Row neighbors to make sure “any problems happening there are addressed.”
In December, the Planning Board approved construction of the amphitheater, but not before placing a number of restrictions on how and when it can operate. Shows must conclude on Sunday through Thursday nights by 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday nights (and Sundays when Monday is a holiday) by 11 p.m. Only two shows can be held within a seven-day period, and Waterfront Concerts must pick up the costs for law enforcement personnel during the the shows.
The Planning Board also set a limit for how loud the venue can be and required Waterfront Concerts to have an event compliance director on hand to make sure the noise limits and other restrictions are being are being met.
Michael Kelley can be reached at 780-9106 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mkelleynews.
(as of March 5)
May 26: Anderson. Paak & the Free Nationals, with special guests Thundercat and Earl Sweatshirt
June 15: Slightly Stoopid with Tribal Seeds, Matisyahu and HIRIE
June 20: Young the Giant, Fitz and the Tantrums, with special guest Coin
June 21: Buddy Guy and Kenny Wayne Shepherd
June 29: Shinedown with Badflower, Dinosaur Pile-up and Broken Hands
Aug. 2: Rebelution, with PROTJE, Collie Buddz and DJ Mackie
Aug. 10: Alice Cooper and Halestorm, with Motionless in White