If you sit in the middle of the 500 block of New York Street in Hollywood Beach on a typical weekend afternoon, on one side you will see dancers jiggling the merengue, sangria flowing and crooners showcasing their Latin-singing chops. A shot of tequila here, a taco salad served there. The music is Latin and its often loud.
On the other side, less than a few feet away, another crowd spills out along the Broadwalk, mostly young and non-Latin, a beer-bucket and pizza throng, fixated on the music of Curbstone, a popular band that amps up the sound and the crowd with a lot of loud trop-rock and roll.
The dizzying blend of music on this stretch of the Broadwalk is an eclectic mix that mirrors the diverse population that visits, lives, vacations and parties in Hollywood.
But theres a new kid in town a new couple, actually and they inadvertently launched a war on Hollywood Beach. A battle of the bands.
Jake Gastorf, and his wife, Meghan 20-something entrepreneurs from Napa Valley, Calif. arrived on Hollywood Beach a year ago, with a lot of energy and big ideas. They bought an empty, musty hole-in-the-wall restaurant with a million-dollar ocean view. They named it Jakes on the Beach.
At a time when restaurants are struggling or shuttering, within a year they had earned enough to renovate the place, hire a culinary chef, roll out a new menu, buy a liquor license and, they did it, they said, in part because they offer live entertainment nearly every day of the week, something that few restaurants on the beach do on a regular basis.
But that caused static with his neighbors at Mamacitas Bar & Grill, a popular Mexican eatery that Jakes shares a wall with. Mamacitas doesnt mix with rock and roll, so the owners turned up their volume. The police were summoned, businesses and residents complained.
The two restaurateurs pretty quickly signed a treaty of sorts and began taking turns with Curbstone even giving an occasional shout-out to the Mamacita dancers, who line-dance on the Broadwalk.
The peace was short-lived, however. As the popularity of Jakes grew, and the crowd along with it, a couple of more upscale restaurants a few blocks north began complaining that Aerosmith didnt exactly sit well with their linen-table-cloth customers. Sugar Reef, the most upscale restaurant on the beach, said the music was giving their well-heeled patrons a headache.
The owner, Robin Seger, complained to the Chamber of Commerce, the citys Community Redevelopment Authority and city commissioners and threatened to start a petition in an effort to get Jakes to buckle down. They called the police for the music, the crowd, the noise.
Its fine to have live music, but you dont have to play like its Woodstock, said Seger, who, with her husband, Patrick Farnault, has owned and operated the tropical French restaurant for 18 years.
Seger describes Jakes and other bars like it as beach bars, while her clientele is more upscale and sophisticated. Her customers have complained, particularly on weekends, when the crowd at Jakes is larger and the music more raucous.
Mark Woodbury, lead singer of Curbstone, said that the beach bar tropical venue is exactly why people come to the beach.