Music permit approved at Burgers and Vine
The historic and chronically vacant old Sonoma Creamery building on First Street East took another step forward in its resurrection on Jan. 10 when it obtained a Music Venue License from the Sonoma Planning Commission.
The building has been leased to C2 Hospitality Partners, a group headed by Carlo Cavallo. It will open soon as Burgers and Vine.
Several supporters spoke in favor of allowing hours greater than other recently licensed music venues on the Plaza, stating responsible management, thicker building walls and a greater chance of business success as the reason.
Former mayor and Councilmember Joe Costello was the lone voice for caution. Speaking on behalf of the North of the Mission Neighborhood Association, he did not ask that the application be denied, but requested that the commission be sensitive to his organization’s concerns.
“Last year was the worst year for amplified music from the Plaza and Depot Park,” said Costello. He later added Vintage House to that list. “We are also concerned about more traffic in our neighborhood and more public intoxication.”
In a letter to the commission, association Vice President Jon Diederich said the group welcomes the addition of Burgers and Vine to the northeast corner of the Plaza. “However, we simply do not know how or if the proposed music venue will impact us.”
Proposed hours requested by the applicants for indoor live music were 9 p.m. to midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights as well as 1 to 3 p.m. on Sundays.
Staff proposed that music be cut off at 11 p.m., in keeping with other music license venues around the Plaza.Another recommendation was that the license be reviewed in October, rather than waiting the full year.
Codi Binkley, speaking as the applicant, said they are willing to cut back to 11 p.m. on Thursday, but wanted the later hours on weekends. He assured the commission that he would be in complete control of the music and would be meticulous in adhering to the conditions of approval.
The commission approved the music venue as proposed, with the addition of the 11 p.m. cutoff on Thursday nights and a review in October, which would be after the summer season.
This is the eighth music license granted in the Plaza area since the new rules were adopted last February. Music venues do not run with the land, but are subject to annual review and must be re-approved if ownership changes. A management plan must be in place and the license can be terminated with certain findings.
The historic building was built in 1926 by Joe Vella, often called the father of the cheese industry in Sonoma. It was used to store cheese in the basement and to make and distribute ice cream on the ground floor. After many owners and uses over the years, it closed its doors in 2006. Richard and Mary Ann Sebastiani Cuneo purchased the building, completed its renovation and have leased it to Cavallo and his partners. Cavallo is the current owner of Meritage Martini Oyster Bar and Grille on West Napa Street and will continue to operate it, along with Burgers and Vine. The new restaurant expects to open in the spring.