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Popular food, music venue for south Forsyth residents closes in Johns Creek
37 Main cited noise ordinances, complaints

BUFORD -- The booming bass of the rock bands was too much for Johns Creek residents, and 37 Main was tired of fighting.

After two years at their Johns Creek location, 37 Main Café, a restaurant, bar and live music venue popular to city residents and those in south Forsyth, has closed its doors.

The venue’s closing comes after two trips to court over noise and nuisance complaints by Johns Creek residents. Neighbors have filed 39 complaints since the café opened its doors in May 2014, the AJC reported.

The café announced its closing in a Facebook post Wednesday, claiming the city unfairly forced their hand and gave them no option but to close.

“For the past 3 months, the city made it hard for us to operate our business,” 37 Main wrote in the post. “Having to end bands at 11 p.m. is just not a business model that we've worked 8-plus years to create. It's tremendously hard for a business like 37 Main to survive being forced to end their [sic] night so early.”

Before the café could open in 2014, Johns Creek required 37 Main to obtain permits to operate the business as a concert venue.

However, Deputy Director of Community Development for Johns Creek Matt Dickison said any permits 37 Main had gotten would have been standard operating procedure.

The city, he said, has only introduced possible additions to zoning and noise ordinance regulations for concert venues in the last couple months. Further discussion of the issue has been tabled until the next City Council meeting.

For the last two years, bands have played regularly on Friday and Saturday nights and occasionally midweek. Until about two months ago, bands would begin their sets at 10 p.m. and end about midnight, with a DJ continuing the music until about 2 a.m.

That changed in June when the city, responding to its residents’ complaints, passed an ordinance requiring the café to shut its doors earlier – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 9 p.m. Sun.-Thurs. nights.

While the city says the closing of 37 Main is “unfortunate,” Jeff Breslau, communications director for Johns Creek, said they tried to work with the venue.

“This has been an ongoing issue for two years and the city has met numerous times with all parties involved, including the landlord,” Breslau said.

“It is unfortunate that 37 Main made the decision to close its doors in Johns Creek,” he said. “However, the city has an obligation to balance businesses needs with the rights of residents and stands by the decisions that were made.”