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Come on, feel the noise! Alma Lounge is so loud, it’s sending neighbors to the hospital

The Brooklyn Paper
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A raucous Williamsburg nightclub plays its dance music so loudly it sent its sleepless neighbors to the hospital.

Alma Lounge has entertained thousands of bridge-and-tunnel clubbers grinding to Rhianna and Alicia Keys since it opened on Roebling Street last April.

But for several families living above the venue, it’s been a nine-month-long nightmare.

From Thursdays to Sundays, the club blares its bass-heavy rotation of pop and salsa through a subwoofer the size of a refrigerator until 4 am — keeping its upstairs neighbors awake well into the night.

Jamie Estrades, a 20-year resident, has moved his two children into his bedroom on weekends and downed sleeping pills to cope with the noise.

“We’ve spoken with them many times, but they sent texts that there’s nothing they can do, that they need that level of loudness in order to stay in business. They said they would change the speakers and they never did. They are chronic liars.”

Estrades visited his doctor several times this past year for recurring gall bladder pains, and his neighbor, Daniel Susla, brought his wife to the hospital for a stomach disorder — and both blame Alma Lounge for these stress-induced maladies.

Calls made to Alma Lounge’s 28-year-old manager, Marvin Garcia, were not returned, but Garcia boasted to the New York Times that he opened the club in south side Williamsburg “so that the neighbors from Brooklyn would not have to go that far into the city [for night life options].”

Susla’s apartment is directly above the club’s main dance floor. On weekend nights, his living room floor vibrates due to the force of sound from the subwoofer, which can register decibel readings well over 50-decibels and sometimes above 60. Several governmental organizations recommend that background noise levels should not be above 35.

“Between calling the precinct directly and calling 311, we feel like we’re calling too much,” said Susla. “We’re trying to be patient.”

After receiving dozens of noise complaints, the city inspected the club last November and slapped the business with a summons. Another was issued last week.

But a court postponed a hearing that had been scheduled in January for two months.

And the club remains open despite not having a cabaret license that permits dancing, according to a Department of Consumer Affairs spokeswoman.

Estrades and his family are so fed up with the noise they have begun looking for a new apartment in another part of the city, but Susla is staying put — and fighting.

“A system that takes a year for a noise violation to be recorded is unacceptable,” said Susla. “I would hope they get shut down. They deserve to get shut down.”

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Reader Feedback

Javier from Williamsburg says:
Google image search "Alma Lounge Brooklyn" to see all the winners that go to this place. Ick.
Feb. 24, 2011, 10:27 am
irving berlin from greenpoint says:
you can be sure the undercovers are there building a case

dancing with PAP and caberet they will get popped for sure takes time to build a case watch out alma!
Feb. 24, 2011, 10:51 am
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
So depressing. I feel for you folks and hope you get a break from that soon, that's gotta be beyond awful.
Feb. 24, 2011, 11:03 am
Kerri from Greenpoint says:
It would be great if BP could do a similar story about The Continental (11 Newel Street) in Greenpoint. This place is equally annoying. So many fights ending with blood on the sidewalk, broken glass and drunks on numerous stoops. The club is ridiculous and even though I'm SEVERAL apartments down the street, the noise shakes my walls. Endless calls to 311, the police and the club resulted in absolutely nothing over the last five years.
Feb. 24, 2011, 11:42 am
A neighbor from Greenpoint says:
Every time you call 311, take the complain number and email it to the Community Board. They keep a record.

Call the precinct non-emergency number every time you call 311. Be firm, be polite, you know that they know but you're calling so you have a record.

Keep a log of every complaint you make. Show up at your community board public safety committee meeting. If you can't make the meeting, document everything in a letter to the CB every month.

Contact your City Council member with the same letter.

Contact the New York Times City Room with the same letter(s). Contact local neighborhood bloggers.

We closed down Studio B for less offenses than this with this method.
Feb. 25, 2011, 12:16 pm
Hopper from Los S-S says:
The previous comment from "a neighbor" was VERY informative, succinct, and useful. It's coming out of my printer as I type this. And the blaring, repetitive Pentecostal services that happen EVERY NIGHT below me will eventually, finally, thankfully, be silenced. Or at least muted. Thanks, neighbor
Feb. 25, 2011, 2:47 pm

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