License Board OKs Skye Bar’s Entertainment Request

OCEAN CITY — Partial entertainment privileges were returned this week to an Ocean City establishment troubled by noise complaints and uncooperative management last year.
The privileges are contingent upon the use of new, sound dampening glass panels and come with a warning that the Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC) does not want to see prior issues return.
The Galaxy 66’s Skye Bar was plagued by noise complaints last year, culminating in a May hearing when the BLC stripped nearly all its music and entertainment approvals. Though the board was adamant at the time there would be no reconsideration, members relented to a degree this week and will now allow the Skye Bar house background music until 11 p.m., amplification on televisions until 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights for football and the use of “Party Headphones-The Ultimate Guide to Silent Disco” until closing.
The board remains disappointed the Skye Bar allowed noise issues to degenerate to the point neighboring residents felt abused, said Chairman William Esham. However, Esham said he recognizes that owners Roger and Tammy Cebula have made huge strides to improve their facility at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We simply do not have the luxury of letting our feelings dictate our actions,” said Esham.
BLC members personally inspected the panels late last month and found them to be extremely adept at eliminating runoff noise.
“You couldn’t hear it. It’s that simple,” Esham said.
Believing that the Cebulas are acting in good faith, the board reinstated the limited entertainment on the condition that the moveable panels be closed by 8:30 p.m. whenever the Skye Bar uses the headphone system, television amplification or background music. The headphone system was one minor sticking point for the BLC.
Under the Cebulas’ request, interested customers would be able to get headphones at the bar which would pump music exclusively to them and be controlled by the bartender. This was fine, said Esham, as long as those wearing headphones were kept inside the glass so that they wouldn’t be yelling and disturbing residents. He made having a doorman present to shepherd the headphone wearers mandatory with his motion and the board’s approval.
Attorney Mark Cropper, on behalf of the Cebulas, thanked the BLC for its fairness. Attorney John Robbins, representing many of the disturbed residents, noted concerns for how noisy the crowd could become in the summer but also thanked the board for “bringing the issue to the forefront”.