SHAWNEE, Kan. — Owners of a popular live music spot in Shawnee are once again asking the city to approve a permit to continue hosting bands on the weekends.
In May the Shawnee City Council approved a special use permit (SUP) for live music at The Social Bar and Grill for a four-month trial period.
On Monday the Shawnee Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend the city council extend that SUP for another year.
Before The Social took over the space at 13410 W. 62nd Terrace, the previous tenant, The Roxy, received multiple noise complaints leading up to its closure in 2021.
The Social co-owner Jordan Grove said the bar has limited live performances to Friday and Saturday nights with bands wrapping up before midnight, instead of the 2 a.m. cut-off time allowed under the SUP.
In an effort to prevent the performances from interrupting neighbors, Grove attempted to add soundproofing material to the building. That material later had to be removed because it violated fire code.
“I think he’s done a lot of work in trying to keep it down. We need venues like that in the city,” Commissioner Carol Norman said.
During the first three months of the trial period, no noise complaints were made about the property. However in August, city staff began receiving noise complaints from neighboring property owners to the north of Social.
According to city documents, on Aug. 26 at 10:50 p.m. Shawnee Police were called to a home roughly a block away from the bar. The homeowner told of the officer he was trying to watch TV and could hear music from The Social over the TV volume.
“This is a business model. It’s operating in the right location, it is zoned properly, and I feel that all the proper steps are being made,” Commissioner Kathy Peterson said.
The proposed SUP extension will go to the city council for final approval in October.