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These Petersburg restaurant workers are upset because the city may force them to close early

Posted at 5:58 PM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 15:04:34-05

PETERSBURG, Va. — A city ordinance scheduled to be discussed at a city planning commission meeting in Petersburg on Tuesday night has some restaurant owners concerned about the future of their businesses.

The ordinance would force those restaurants to close much earlier than the owners want.

"It's very alarming," D. J. Payne, owner of four restaurants in Old Towne Petersburg, said. "It's going to hit me so hard. It's going to be, can I make it through the winter, if this is enforced."

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At issue is a noise ordinance which is up for discussion during a public comment session.

"The noise ordinance hasn't really been enforced and now this is just like a big blanket move to take care of that issue, but it hurts so many other people," Beaunuts Doughnuts owner Ernie Labrecque said.

The move would force restaurants in Petersburg to close at 11 p.m.

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Some restaurant owners said they understood downtown and Old Towne Petersburg weren't just for business, but also residential. They hoped a compromise could be reached.

"If there is a solution that can be found for the noise problem, they need to focus on the solution for the noise instead of taking revenue away from Petersburg," Sarah Blake, owner of Local Vibe Cafe, said.

Petersburg City Manager Stuart Turille said he supported a change in what defines a restaurant versus a nightclub.

"I'd rather see it approached more directly, stating very clearly what is a nightclub and what is a restaurant, rather than any sort of restrictions on restaurants," Turille said.

The Petersburg Planning Commission public hearing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Union Train Station.

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