Bradenton Beach to enforce live music ban in expanded outdoor dining areas

BRADENTON BEACH – Bradenton Beach establishments can continue using their temporarily expanded seating for outdoor seating, but an existing prohibition on live music in those areas will be enforced as of Friday, June 4.

On Thursday, June 3, the Bradenton Beach Commission is expected to adopt on final reading an ordinance that will allow the previously enacted expanded outdoor business operations to continue for an estimated two more months or so as businesses continue to recover from the losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and public input will be allowed on this matter. The updated ordinance, 21-533, to be adopted Thursday is included in the meeting packet, beginning on page 91.

On Friday, May 28, Bradenton Beach Building Official Steve Gilbert and senior members of the Bradenton Beach Police Department crafted a written notice of prohibition and live entertainment update to be provided this week to impacted and potentially impacted establishments.

“Ordinance 20-516, adopted on May 21, 2020, provided for an expansion of outdoor dining due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance provided for a number of regulations pertaining to the expanded areas allowed. The ordinance also provided for several prohibitions. Section 5 expressly prohibits live entertainment and bands in the expanded outdoor dining areas,” the notice states.

Bradenton Beach to enforce live music ban in expanded outdoor dining areas
The Bridge Tender Inn’s temporarily expanded outdoor dining area currently includes a temporary outdoor stage toward the southern end of the property. Photo: Joe Hendricks

The temporary ordinance adopted in 2020 always prohibited live music in the expanded outdoor seating areas, but that prohibition was never enforced. As of last weekend, The Bridge Tender Inn and the Wicked Cantina still featured live music in their expanded outdoor dining areas; and The Drift In sometimes features live bands in its expanded outdoor seating area on weekend afternoons.

“The city has received complaints of live entertainment and bands in those expanded outdoor dining areas and is responding to these complaints. Be advised that effective June 4, city police and code enforcement officers will begin enforcement of this prohibition. Violations will result in the loss of any expanded outdoor dining areas,” the notice states.

The live music prohibition does not apply to live music areas used prior the temporary ordinance taking effect in 2020.

“This does not mean that those locations of live entertainment and bands in use prior to the effective date of Ordinance 20-516 are prohibited. However, in order to continue providing live entertainment and bands in those prior locations, a sketch of the previous location must be signed, dated, and submitted to the clerk’s office to be filed with the business tax receipt files,” the notice states.

Bradenton Beach to enforce live music ban in expanded outdoor dining areas
The Drift In sometimes has outdoor bands on weekends. Photo: Joe Hendricks

The written update also includes an acknowledgement for the business owner or manager to sign.

“I hereby acknowledge that I have read this document and agree to cease live entertainment and bands in my expanded outdoor dining area. I also acknowledge that if this business previously provided live entertainment and bands, I will provide a sketch to indicate the location used prior to May 21, 2020 to the clerk’s office,” the acknowledgment states.

Recent city commission meetings have included informal discussion about possibly allowing the expanded outdoor dining areas to remain on a permanent basis, but no formal actions have been taken in that regard.

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