Two late-night destinations will soon stop selling alcohol past 2 a.m. after the city scaled back its alcohol sales hours at the urging of some residents who say one bar is keeping them up at night.
The Boca Raton council unanimously passed an ordinance that prohibits the sale of alcohol between 2-7 a.m. The new rule only affects two businesses — Blue Martini in the Town Center plaza and Nippers on Military Trail east of Town Center Mall. Both currently serve alcohol until 5 a.m.
“Our residents can’t get a good or healthy night’s sleep,” said Bob Ziegler, a 27-year resident of a community across a small lake just south of Blue Martini.
He bought his home long before the late-night lounge opened eight years ago.
“If we knew then what we know today, my wife and I would have a big problem moving to Boca Raton,” Zeigler told the city council.
The “pounding of the music until 5 a.m.” draws constant noise complaints from residents, said Cindy Bloom, who also lives in the Majorca community.
“It’s not fair,” she said. “We didn’t move there to listen to the Blue Martini until 5 a.m. You can’t imagine it.”
Under the approved ordinance, both businesses have four months to stop selling alcohol past 2 a.m.
Police Chief Dan Alexander brought 21 pages of police reports filed at either Blue Martini or Nippers in recent years, and told the council he supported limiting the hours for public safety reasons.
Several employees, managers and patrons of Blue Martini and Nippers pleaded with the council not to pass the new rule.
Bruce Gregory, general manager of Blue Martini, offered his cellphone number to residents so they can call him when noise gets out of hand, and also offered to hire an off-duty code enforcement officer just to ensure the problems are corrected.
Closing at 2 a.m. would be “catastrophic” to the business, he said.
In case that didn’t change the council’s mind, Gregory also asked a longer grace period to adjust the hours of operation. The attorneys for both Nippers and Blue Martini asked for 18 months.
“I think it’s inexcusable that these neighbors have had to live in these conditions as long as they have … ” Councilman Robert Weinroth said. “This should have been handled long ago.”
Other bars and lounges in Boca Raton are already restricted from selling alcohol between the hours of 2 and 7 a.m.
But Blue Martini and Nippers, which opened 30 years ago and drew far fewer noise complaints than its late-night companion, opened outside city limits before Boca Raton annexed western land in 2003. Those businesses were given permission to operate under Palm Beach County’s rules, which allow the sale of alcohol until 5 a.m.
Nippers, a sport bar-style lounge whose clientele is mainly after-hours service industry folk, appears to be collateral damage of the city’s desire to quiet Blue Martini, Nippers supporters said.
“You could stand across the street (from Nippers) and you’re not going to hear a sound out of that place,” said Danny Rosenberg, a Nippers manager,also calling the bar a staple in the community.
The owner, Carlos Ber, told The Post in March that closing early would force him to shut the business down.
But the city council ultimately decided the matter was too pressing to ignore.
“This is just an issue that is not going to go away …” Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie said. “I’m certain that if any one of us lived near there and had listened to this over all these years, it wouldn’t have taken that long to get to the point we are right now.”