PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The owner of a Panama City Beach restaurant believes she is the victim of selective enforcement.
Barracuda Beach Bar Owner Cathy Capuano said she’s being unfairly targeted for violating noise ordinances.
She recently had two noise violations dropped.
“They did not do the decimal reader,” Capuano said.
Bay County Sheriff’s deputies issued the citations.
“We hired an attorney and he took care of everything for us because what they did wasn’t right,” the business owner said. “So they were singling us out for no reason at all.”
Sheriff’s officials said they have received at least 24 noise complaints since February 2021, directed at Barracuda’s address.
Bay County Government Center also received several noise complaints. Some people have claimed they run it as a nightclub which they aren’t allowed to do.
It has to do with the old Buckwild Nightclub that used to be in Barracuda’s space.
“There were some issues with ownership and bars and nightclubs being operated on that property in the past,” Bay County Director of Community Development Ian Crelling said. “The county went to court with them and they settled with a stipulated settlement agreement.”
The agreement applies to anyone who owns the property.
It limits the hours of operation to 2 a.m., stops live performances after 1 a.m., states the owner must utilize the second floor as a restaurant, and offer a full menu of food while in operation.
The closest residents to the restaurant bar only had good things to say.
“My bedroom is literally behind their back wall and we can lay in our room or lay in our living room here and watch TV and we don’t even know there’s anything going on,” Timothy Smith said. “So I particularly don’t know if it’s as much neighbors as it might be other bar owners in the area that might be upset with the competition. It seems more like that to me.”
Just a few doors down, Resident Mark Hyde said he goes to bed at 9 p.m. so the music can be a little bit of a bother then, but never enough to do something about it.
“Never felt like it was that problematic. Yeah, I’ve had neighbors in the past that might have been a little more intrusive,” Hyde said.
He also said he supports the local business.
The owner said she just wants to operate her business in peace.
“We are here for the neighbors and the locals are what makes us and we appreciate them so much,” Capuano said. .
The Bay County Sheriff’s office met with the state attorney on Tuesday.
They wanted to learn what information they should include on noise citations ow since the noise ordinance changed.