Standing by Water's Edge Restaurant in East Moriches is Pat...

Standing by Water's Edge Restaurant in East Moriches is Pat Blake, a local attorney that represents local residents that oppose the live band scene and Jim Gleason, a member of East Moriches Property Owners Association. (April 6, 2011) Credit: Randee Daddona

Denis Blumberg sees his East Moriches restaurant as the perfect place for live music -- a secluded waterfront venue with an outdoor patio and a sweeping view of Moriches Bay.

Trouble is, some of his nearest neighbors want to pull the plug on the tunes.

The disagreement has triggered a feud between the restaurateur and a local civic association, some of whose members brought signs reading "Sweep The Music Under The Rug" and "Inside Voices Only" to a recent Brookhaven Town public hearing. Blumberg's Water's Edge restaurant has already hosted acts ranging from a Styx cover band to a rhythm-and-blues group.

Brookhaven's town board denied Blumberg's request to host outdoor entertainment.

But Blumberg said bands will continue to play indoors -- and more often when the summer season arrives. "The windows will be open so the music will be blasting and people outside will hear it," he said.

Blumberg opened Water's Edge last July and held a "grand opening" with live bands in August. Water's Edge is in Windswept Marina at the end of Atlantic Avenue. Blumberg leases the space from Chatham Development, the marina's Manhasset-based owner.

Chatham asked the town board to remove a provision preventing outdoor entertainment at the site, but the town board denied the request after protests by the East Moriches Property Owners' Association.

Resident Michael Rowe told the town board at the public hearing that Water's Edge's request for outdoor music was akin to "asking for a government bailout."

Rowe added: "East Moriches is just not the place. It's much too quiet."

Most houses closest to Water's Edge are about a quarter-mile away. Councilman Daniel Panico, who represents the area, said the board denied the request when it saw there was "no support from the community."

Jim Gleason, vice president of the East Moriches Property Owners' Association, said the community's quarrel with Water's Edge began when residents found an online video of an outdoor concert at the restaurant.

"What the videos show are a large number of people who were drinking, not eating, and listening to amplified music," he said.

But Blumberg said the town board's action cannot block him from booking bands to play inside the restaurant.

Blumberg said its secluded location, one mile south of Montauk Highway, requires him to offer more than just food to attract customers. He added he has spent $300,000 on the restaurant, which has weathered a "tough, tough winter."

He said gigs -- which currently happen once every three or four weeks -- will probably take place every weekend during the summer season.

Despite the community's desire for quiet nights, the shows will probably begin -- and end -- later than they would have if he had outdoor space, Blumberg said. He said he needs to stretch out restaurant hours to maximize profits before bands take over dining room space.

"We have bands inside because that's what we have to do. But it's not the same," he said.

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