No more blues for brewery as permit passes to allow live entertainment
Published 7:41 pm Friday, August 19, 2022
After a delay to allow New Realm Brewing Co. to work out issues related to buffering and noise, it received unanimous approval from City Council to offer live entertainment at its new location in the Harbour View area of North Suffolk once it opens.
The location, at 5941 Harbour View Blvd., will be New Realm Brewing’s fifth location and includes one in Virginia Beach.
Council members had evenly split at its July 20 meeting on whether to approve a conditional use permit for the live entertainment and subsequently voted 7-1 to table the matter for 30 days.
However, during that time, the project developer, Blue Point Investment Group, met with the Harbour View Homeowners Association and proposed a 30-foot wide buffer with a single row of evergreen shrubs and a double-staggered row of evergreen trees, with a six-foot-tall aluminum fence.
Its previous proposal had included a minimum 6-foot tall privacy fence and a 30-foot wide screening strip of evergreen shrubs to be placed along the rear of the property adjacent to the residential area.
Blue Point also, since council’s July meeting, has had an engineer conduct a sound exhibit outlining how loud the sound for live entertainment would be. The test showed it reaching 70 decibels at the sound source, and dropping to 40 decibels about 110 feet from the source, 34 decibels about 210 feet away at the edge of its parking lot and 28 decibels at 420 feet away at the spot of the nearest residential structure to New Realm’s music source, which Interim Director of Planning and Community Development Kevin Wyne said would be akin to a whisper.
Mayor Mike Duman had announced the $9 million project for New Realm’s brewery during his State of the City address in May. The proposal is part of Blue Point at the Riverfront, an 18-acre mixed-use development off Harbour View Boulevard. An $11 million Stay Suites hotel is also planned on the same property, but was not part of the permit request.
New Realm plans to have live entertainment outdoors except during inclement weather, when it would move indoors. Proposed hours for live music are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Typical operating hours for New Realm would extend an hour beyond the end of the live entertainment.
The outdoor speakers also had been proposed to face inward toward the biergarten and keep the sound lower. Music was not proposed for the rooftop dining area. The biergarten will have covered areas for tables, chairs, fire pits, outdoor tasting services and a water feature, and it is planned to be dog friendly. Beer also will be brewed onsite for the restaurant and tasting room, and project developers said the entertainment would be family-friendly and not have a nightclub atmosphere.
Councilman Roger Fawcett, before making the motion to approve, read from a letter from HOA president Andy Sweet in which Fawcett said Sweet had met with the Harbour View residents and “there are now no issues and they would expect the CUP to be approved by council (Wednesday).”