Su-Chang's Restaurant is livening things up for its customers. The popular Lowell Street Chinese eatery received approval from the City Council last week for live entertainment on certain days, specifically up to a four-piece band.
An application from longtime owner Suzanne Waite said the intent was to bring in a jazz trio three nights a week. Televisions will also be added now and the band will take up space near the bar.
"I came before the council 20 years ago for a permit to build Su-Changs. It’s been very successful and now we want to add live music," Waite told councilors.
Her application asked for hours 6-10 p.m. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, but City Clerk Tim Spanos pointed out in the hearing that requests for live entertainment on Sundays needs to go through the mayor's office not the council.
Councilors then unanimously approved the license for just the two days. Waite did not say then if she would seek the Sunday license after all.
Ward 5 Councilor David Gamache said Waite met with neighbors who had expressed concerns about adding live music prior to the council hearing Thursday and agreed to certain changes to address those concerns, particularly having karaoke or a DJ as the application had included.
Gamache said there were also some changes in parking, signage and landscaping, and the music would only last as long as the restaurant was open those nights -- 10 p.m. The restaurant does stay open until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, but there will be no music then.
"She really has given the neighbors what they wanted," Gamache said.
Well, at least most of the neighbors.
Naomi Kidder, an elderly resident who lives behind Su-Chang's at 2 Prospect St, showed up at the hearing accompanied by her daughter and son-in-law to express her concerns over the noise and traffic.
She said Su-Chang's is already busy as is and wondered if a traffic study was conducted to see what the effect might in the congested intersection. Kidder's daughter also noted they have easily overheard patrons, preparing to leave the restaurant at closing hours, talking loudly and joking in the parking lot. They wondered if live music would make that situation worse.
Waite said she was not aware of any problems out in the parking lot, but the manager would keep tabs on the situation to ensure patrons were not hanging out there.
Ward 6 Councilor Barry Sinewitz said he knows what bad neighbors are and Su-Chang's isn't one of them.
"She’s done a super job, twenty years. I don’t want to minimize anything you’re saying, but I know what bad neighbors, bad restaurants are," he told Kidder.
Sinewitz didn't drop names, but he was undoubtedly referring to the numerous complaints he dealt with over the Westside Family Restaurant before it came under new ownership last year.