Lodi Senior Home Complains Of Noise From Neighboring Bars

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LODI --

The sound of the tropics drifts up from a drum and flute along School Street in Lodi.

It's the kind of thing many want to hear on a Farmer's Market Thursday.

But, the blaring jukebox a few doors down at Garry's is not what almost 100 seniors who call the Lodi Hotel home want to hear.

They say the noise and other problems from neighboring bars like Garry's and Stooges are anything but neighborly.

"Rowdy and a fight ... just everything," said hotel resident Cindy Freitas as she described the noise she says she has to live with.

"Calling names ... cussing and going on 'cause they're drunk," said Ethel Thompson.

"I have sent an email to the city council ... invited them to come by at 11 [p.m.] ... especially on a Friday or Saturday ... you can't believe the noise," said Ron Payne.

No one has taken him up on his invitation.

The issue is such a sensitive topic, one of the residents of the low-income development for seniors ... didn't want his face shown for fear of retribution.

"It wakes us up. We only get two days out of a whole week to get any rest here," he said.

The sign outside of Stooges says no loitering, but some of the seniors say some of the biggest problems happen outside of the bar.

"You see police cars coming red lights, blue lights ... they're fighting, arguing," said Thompson.

"When I was coming up we went to bars to chase girls and dance. All they want to do is stand outside and yell and scream," said Payne.

As for the folks inside Stooges, a spot that has served Lodi as some kind of bar for 60 years they say they've tried to be sensitive to the seniors' concerns, but there are challenges.

"Can't keep people inside...they like to smoke. It gets warm in here as you can see...they want to cool off," said Stooges bartender Jesse Vorbeck.

And when it comes to planning commission proposals that might push closing times from 2 a.m. back to midnight, Vorbeck isn't sure there's a way for everyone's desires to co-exist happily.

"I don't know. We've turned the music down, but people want to hear music. You can't have a quiet bar."

"Act right," said hotel resident Ron Payne.

"I respect them as a business, just respect us as neighbors."

The possible change to bar closing times is just in the idea phase right now, but even if it passed it might not affect many of the bars the seniors are worried about.

Stooges is grandfathered-in to Lodi's current use-permit ordinance.