A pile of postcards illustrates the tension between some Hermosa Beach restaurant owners and residents that began in early May after the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control approved the transfer of Il Boccaccio's liquor license to its owners, Ron and Greg Newman, who also own the nearby Sharkeez.
All of the postcards received by the city May 4 include the same typed address from residents to "honorable council members," asking to appeal the transfer and limit Il Boccaccio's serving hours. The city voted against holding a special hearing concerning the fate of the appeal.
Some of the postcards included personal handwritten notes, concerns that the council will consider at its next meeting.
Suggesting that open-late restaurants encourage rowdy nightlife, local resident Lisa Mooney wrote on one of the postcards, "we'd like a safer, more peaceful downtown."
"People leaving the bars often stop to urinate, run in the sprinklers, loiter and make a lot of noise outside," resident Linsey Miller wrote.
Resident Aileen Martin wrote that her friends in neighboring beach cities refer to Pier Plaza as "The Playpen," and Adrienne Less wrote on her card, "we have enough drunk and obnoxious people walking down our street at midnight."
Council members said that they plan to solve the issue by developing stricter rules for local businesses that serve alcohol. At a meeting last week, the council agreed to further discuss guidelines, such as how late liquor-serving establishments can stay open.
According to local resident Dr. David E. Cannon, business hours are not the problem. Rather, he wrote that the types of establishments that open business in town are a concern. There aren't enough restaurants that match the demographic of homeowners in the area, he wrote.
"Look at other former nightclub-oriented areas that mature to meet the needs of their homeowners," he suggested.
Ron Newman has said that Il Boccaccio fits the a mature establishment mold, differing from Sharkeez, which has a drink special for every day of the week.
"[Il Boccaccio] is going to be a full service steak and seafood restaurant," he commented, arguing that the city should leave additional liquor license rules to the state agency.
The City Council will take into consideration both local restaurants' needs and residents' wants at its meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m.