Stonington approves classic car shows at Phoenix restaurant

Stonington — The Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved a plan by the owner of the new Phoenix restaurant on Liberty Street in Pawcatuck to host classic car shows from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays from June through the end of October.

But the commission prohibited owner Richard Mann from having any amplified outdoor music or announcements during the shows after a group of neighbors expressed concerns about noise, traffic and parking.

Phoenix, a 307-seat restaurant and live music venue located in the former Rosalini’s nightclub building, opened earlier this year after an extensive renovation by Mann.

While the club pledged to continue to stop inside music at 11 p.m., the commission approved its plan to stay open later than 11 to serve food and allow its patrons to safely and orderly exit the building.

The club estimated there would be 22 shows per year, with 50 to 75 cars a show. The cars would be parked in areas of the 117-space lot away from boundaries with neighbors. The shows would begin next summer.

Mann told the commission he is very conscious of the potential impact of his club on neighbors, works to keep noise levels down and addresses any complaints they may have.

During a public hearing Tuesday night, neighbor Julie McNeil said she wants Phoenix to be a success but pointed out the commission’s original approval for the club stipulated there would be no outdoor amplification of sound and she asked the commission to uphold that restriction.

“I know these kinds of events go on in other places but they’re not surrounded by a residential neighborhood,” she said.

The club could hold other types of events on Tuesdays, as long as they conform to various stipulations imposed on the car shows. The approval is for one year, at which time the commission will review the permit.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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