For the past seven weeks, Monique Emilio, the proprietor of the Poinciana has been hosting a DJ night that has seen patrons of all ages coming out to enjoy some food, a drink and a little moonlight dancing.
Unfortunately though, not all winds of change are positive ones, and there has been a third and final warning for sound abatement breaches from Byron Shire Council.
Where venue owners might get a little shirty, Ms Emilio, however, is keen to make sure her venue falls into line with community expectations of night noise.
‘I see it as a community boundary,’ she says. ‘We have a midnight licence, but the consent from a sound perspective is from the community because the Poinciana is in a suburban area. So it basically can’t be louder than a car going past. The Poinciana has always had bands on – it’s basically had music for the last ten years – we just want to find the sweet spot.’
Previously, the venue had been operating on Friday nights until 11pm, but now Monique will be closing it down at 10pm.
‘I am humble and grateful to be here, and I have made changes to the sound system as soon as there were complaints,’ she says. ‘Originally, sound came out of one big speaker, but now it comes out of eight little speakers so we should be running at half the level.’
And that’s what happened Friday night just gone, with the sound being reduced by 60 per cent.
Monique is hoping that she can please both her local community and her restaurant patrons.
The restaurant employs 15 people, and Fridays and Sundays are their busiest days of trade. Monique is enthusiastic about her staff: ‘It’s the best skill set I have ever seen from the staff; from people who can make botanical medicinal cocktails to the chefs and how they work with the food. Everything here is amazing.
‘People are loving the DJs. They don’t want to look at a band; a band takes over; patrons want to dance and talk.’
Moni is calling on the residents of Mullumbimby to work alongside her on this challenge and to approach her personally if they feel the noise is a problem. She gives her assurance that she will respond and turn the music down.
She’s asking that residents call her directly for issues, ‘because it saves a lot of pressure with Council compliance processes and expense to the business should it be ongoing – and yes, it may have been a bit loud!’ says Ms Emilio.
Those wishing to talk to Monique about their concerns with noise are requested to call her on 0411 643 935.