The Public Eye

Reports from the Bee's investigative team

September 7, 2010
Nightspot's throbbing beat is annoyance to neighbors

By Ryan Lillis

Oshima Sushi in Natomas has become a popular nightspot for those wanting to avoid the downtown scene. But that doesn't mean everyone in the area is thrilled with the place.

Neighbors who live behind the restaurant on Natomas Crossing Drive are complaining that they can hear – and feel – the beat of live music at Oshima's Fugu Lounge inside their homes. They also say they can hear the crowds outside the restaurant late into the evening.

You may remember Oshima as the place where city development department employee Dan Waters was the registered owner of a cigar stand. City records showed that Waters, son of Councilman Robbie Waters, also worked on a permit for the restaurant's patio days before opening the cigar bar and that he was identified in e-mails as the restaurant owner's business partner.

The city recently renewed Oshima's entertainment permit, with new restrictions on security and outdoor music. Maurice Chaney, a spokesman for the city's Community Development Department, said the revamped permit, renewed Aug. 11, was a compromise between nearby residents and the business.

The new restrictions have erased some of the neighbors' concerns, but not all of them. "It's still too loud on weekends, which will always be the concern," said David Mayer, who said he lives 50 feet from the back of Oshima in the Carriage Lane condominium complex. "We can't have peace in our own homes."

The restaurant hosts live music on many weekday and weekend nights and is open until 2 a.m. on weekends. The restaurant's owners did not respond to several requests by The Bee for comment.

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