Residents push back on Mary Celeste entertainment license

Jun 22, 2021

MARION -- A public hearing to grant The Mary Celeste Whiskey and Wine Library an entertainment license was continued, after comments from neighboring residents.

Owner Mike Achilles came before the Select Board on June 22, asking to be able to host live entertainment until 9 p.m.

“We want to play light jazz music inside and out,” Achilles said. “Nothing like the Marion Concert Band.”

He said he would likely host “one event max per week,” but added that “we’d like our license not to be limited by that.”

Achilles did not specify exactly which days of the week he’d like to be able to offer entertainment, but indicated he’d like flexibility to avoid conflicting with other events in town.

Achilles added that he already employs a noise monitoring machine at the lounge, and would continue to do so for any live entertainment. He added that He hasn’t received any noise complaints from residents or the town since opening late last year.

“Our hope is [the noise] doesn’t go outside that patio,” he said. He later noted that the noise would be directed toward the street, not neighbors' homes.

He also advocated for fairness regarding the entertainment license, citing Kate’s Simple Eats’ license of a similar nature. There, live entertainment is allowed until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

But Achilles’ promises weren’t enough for some residents.

From complaints about parking to the danger heightened traffic could pose to neighborhood kids, some residents were skeptical of, and others outright opposed to, entertainment at the establishment.

“I think we’re opening up a can of worms here,” Margie Baldwin said. “This is a whole other level of your business.”

One resident, representing the condos across the street from The Mary Celeste, said entertainment was a non-starter.

“It’s out of the question as far as we’re concerned,” he said.

Other residents worried that parking at the establishment would increase on an already busy street, and that children on bikes and skateboards could be in danger if there were to be increased traffic.

But Achilles said traffic and parking should not be any more of an issue than they already are, as he said the Mary Celeste has been at capacity fairly frequently on the weekends.

Select Board member John Waterman suggested that the board approve a license on a provisional basis, to which Achilles had little objection.