INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – City commissioners Oct. 9 praised efforts the owners of the Sandbar restaurant have made to reduce noise and problems associated with it when it was operated under the name Coasters.
They unanimously granted an alcoholic beverage use designation to Heather Anne Boles and Marsel Mano for the restaurant, which is at 1311 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. The action is required for an establishment to continue to sell alcohol when ownership changes.
Boles said when she came before the commission months ago there were many issues she was not aware of involving Coasters Bar and Grill. In January commissioners said they had received numerous complaints about the restaurant’s noise.
“During the past several months I have made a concerted effort to get that establishment cleaned up,” Boles said.
She said she has made donations to several charities and wants to get more involved in the community.
“I think if you approve this, changing the name to Sandbar will really help me to clean the place up. I do want to do some remodeling, some definite facelift to spruce the place up. I think getting rid of the designation Coasters is just a step in the right direction,” Boles said.
Addressing concerns about complaints about noise, she said she removed the outside speakers on the bar’s porch last month. There’s no outside live music on the patio anymore.
Mayor R.B. Johnson said before she had removed the speakers he walked by the restaurant late at night and heard music playing. He had to point out that it was probably a good idea to turn off the outside speakers.
“I got wind of that so that’s why the speakers went bye-bye,” Boles said.
“I wish all the restaurant owners were as easy to deal with as Heather,” Commissioner Cookie Kennedy said, “that one of us walks by and says it’s too loud so they take all the speakers out outside.”
Commissioner Terry Hamilton-Wollin said she is proud of Boles.
“I know I beat you up pretty bad when you were here last January,” she said. “But you have really turned the place around. I see that you are working really hard, and I think the steps you want to take are going to bring it even more to where we want it to be, you and us.”
New community policing deputy
Commissioners introduced the new community policing deputy for Indian Rocks Beach, Noel Dunham.
Dunham said he has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 26 years and with the community policing unit for about three years.
His last assignment was in the Starkey Road area, which he called “an extremely busy area” with narcotics and gang activities, barking dogs and residents’ complaints.
“I look forward to serving this community as best as I can,” Dunham said. “I bring in some experience and knowledge … I do everything from undercover surveillance to traffic to bike patrol to working with youth,” he said.
The new position of community policing deputy raises the city’s contract with the Sheriff’s Office by $89,000 to $950,000.
City Manager Chuck Coward has said that the new position is the missing link the community has been experiencing between pure patrol duties deputies perform to individuals who need more information or further action than having single contact with a patrol deputy.
Ordinances relating to tobacco passed
City commissioners unanimously gave final approval to an ordinance that requires that cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products be disposed of in public or private receptacles.
They also gave final approval to an ordinance that prohibits the smoking of cigars, cigarettes and other tobacco products in city parks with designated play areas. The three area in Indian Rocks Beach affected by the regulations are Kolb Park, Brown Park and 10th Avenue Park.