Complaints about late-night hookah bar down under new management - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Complaints about late-night hookah bar down under new management

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Neighbors of the Sahara Hookah Bar and Cafe complained that rowdy, intoxicated patrons disturbed the otherwise quiet neighborhood well into the morning. Neighbors of the Sahara Hookah Bar and Cafe complained that rowdy, intoxicated patrons disturbed the otherwise quiet neighborhood well into the morning.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Late night crowds, blaring music, loud conversations, racing cars and illegal parking were the bane of a Glenwood South neighborhood six months ago, but today those neighbors say things have improved.

Since the start of the year, neighbors of the Sahara Hookah Bar and Cafe, at 702 W. Peace Street, complained that rowdy, intoxicated patrons disturbed the otherwise quiet neighborhood well into the morning.

The hookah bar doesn't serve alcohol, but it stays open until 4 a.m. on weekends, catering to some of the crowds that let out from the bars in Glenwood South after most of them close at 2 a.m.

At Tuesday's City Council Law and Public Safety Committee meeting, neighbors said while they still aren't happy about the business's proximity to the residential area, they said the situation has improved greatly.

Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said problems from the bar are down about 85 percent.

Since September, Raleigh Police have been called to the business five times. Between the start of the year and May, neighbors called 911 at least 33 times between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. to complain about trespassing, illegal parking, noise and property damage.

"We had a lot of tension between the hookah bar and the neighborhood," Baldwin said. "There's new management there. They have done a really good job at working with the neighborhood and working with our police department, so I think we have happier patrons and happy neighbors."

The new management has made a point to ensure that patrons park only in the bar lot and has installed new signs directing patrons where to park.

The city also initiated new process for parking permits in the neighborhood.

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