Submit written support to
Mayor - Margaux Keiser
Vice Mayor - Kristen Brown
Council Member - Yvette Brooks
Council Member - Joe Clarke
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The City Council meeting has been postponed. The City Council of Capitola will be voting to approve our Entertainment Permit for 2023, date/time: TBA. The City Manager denied our application, due to the absence of the landlord's signature on the permit form, although our 2021 and 2022 permits were granted without the landlord's signature. We filed an appeal to have the City Council review the 5.24 Entertainment Permit Municipal Code, as written the code does not state the approval of landlord is required. Shown on the list provided of local restaurants that have received Entertainment Permits from 2019-2023, Out of the 43 permits, only 19 had the signature of the landlord. We are asking for the City Staff and the City Council to step out of the tenant-landlord dispute, and to not interfere of the status quo of running our business in the City of Capitola.
Please submit letters in support of our Entertainment Permit, to be included in the agenda packet for the City Council Meeting. For those that would like to express their support in person or via ZOOM, please see the link below, "Location and Zoom information". There are documents presented below for additional information. The music permit is a small obstacle in a much bigger battle with the landlord of our restaurant and apartment in the Capitola Village. We have faith that we will prevail on all arguments in defense of the filings by the landlord, the legal fees are over $70,000, with an unknown final cost. The expenses to fight for our rights, has caused a significant strain on our home and businesses. As business owners, the goal is to strive and build a successful long-lasting empire. It's very unfortunate that we do not have the support of our landlord.
Lasalle and I, have been blessed with the opportunity to bring our dreams to life, and we are grateful for all the outpours of inquiring how to support our business through these challenging events. I am forever grateful, my husband, my dreamer, Lasalle Strong, shows the most positive patience and perseverance, I have ever experienced.
We have been privately dealing with a continued dispute with our landlords' acting member, Steve Yates. There are many dynamics to our disputes, consequently Steve Yates has refused to sign the Entertainment Permit for 2023 as a retaliatory act. In Steve Yate's submission, you will find relevant evidence from our commercial lease that further supports, there is no provision in our lease, that states we cannot have live music. He also tries to claim that live music is not a reasonable offering for restaurant patrons, however as you will find that all of the businesses that hold an entertainment permit in 2019-2023 in Capitola are restaurants, as defined in the City of Capitola's Use permit, (attachment below, "List of Entertainment Permits 2019-2023). Our legal dispute continues; however, our Entertainment Permit is a separate matter that is now in the hands of the City Council of Capitola, CA.
In June 2021, we were transparent in our application for the lease, that we planned to have live music. There was no response of concern from the landlord or its agents. The entire application and approval process was done online, as Steve Yates lives in Hawaii. The first time Steve Yates met Lasalle Strong in person was April 2022, after this brief interaction, the relationship of landlord to tenant became strained and pestering. We had operated for 10 months during 2021 and 2022, providing live entertainment to our patrons, with no disputes from the landlord's agents, coincidentally after this brief interaction in person, the attacks on our tenancy began. The landlord and his son have submitted their disapproval of our music program as another assault to negatively impact our business and livelihood.
The mixed-use building consists of three restaurants, including Mr. Toot's Coffeehouse, where live entertainment is offered to guest weekly, Margaritaville and Capitola Bar & Grill. There are three apartments on-site, in which the residential tenants consist of Ryan Yates, Lasalle and Michelle Strong, and one other tenant, who has not mentioned any concern or opinion of the live music. There has not been any evidence of these "other tenants" that dispute our live music.
The mixed-use building was allowed in the commercial zone to benefit those residential tenants that enjoy the lively environment of the Village. There should be no expectation of silence during the day, while living in a commercial zone, above three restaurants, along the beach front, with heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic. We have spent over $12,000 to add soundproofing, cameras, and other items to comply with the permit. Despite the false claims, we have not received any violations or citations in regard to our entertainment permit.
Below you will find the attached submissions from the landlord's active member, Steve Yates, and his son, Ryan Yates, who lives above our Bar. Steve Yates has refused to meet with us regarding a compromise to our music program, and he continues to make efforts to evict us from the building. Steve Yates has made false statements and has made outlandish accusations. Ryan Yates, Steve Yate's son, who resides above our bar, continues to call Capitola Police Department with frivolous claims, such as a call to local PD on March 20th, 2023, because Lasalle Strong was in a common hallway of the building. Ryan Yates in his submission to the City Council has accused, Lasalle Strong, of "personal threats and intimidation tactics", and stated," the behavior of the owner towards residents who have voiced their concerns is unacceptable". Ryan Yates makes careless and damaging accusations, while showing no proof of any behavior or interactions with Lasalle and I, Michelle Strong. Despite Steve Yate's claim, "I couldn't compromise with them. They have no sense of reasonable".
This claim that live music has no place in the mixed-use building, is very contradictory, especially coming from Steve Yates. As Steve Yates, who previously owned Margaritaville, often had live music, including a local favorite mentioned in Ryan Yate's submission, The Joint Chiefs. We are asking that you see through these grotesque complaints of the landlord and his son; and continue to support live music in the Village.
We are thankful for all the support from the neighboring hotels, they have said that our live music is a selling point for their clients. The local retail and other restaurants have shown great support as well. The Village is a family-friendly destination, that can be enjoyed for long stays, as the Village businesses provide many options of food, retail, and entertainment. We find most visitors stay all day and frequent many businesses, as we all support each other.
Our music program is a daytime event, in respect to the residential tenants and is completed by 10:00pm. Our music program consists of local musicians, and family style karaoke. The Village has been known as a tourist destination spot, with continued loyalty of the locals. Please write letters to the City Council in support of our music program, as we have greatly suffered a significant loss of revenue when our music was canceled, along with the hardships this winter continues to create. Anyone available to attend the meeting in person or via zoom would greatly be appreciated by our family-owned small business in the Village.
Capitola Bar & Grill has quickly won the hearts of locales and tourist. Our village has suffered enough, from these winter storms, and we are asking you to help keep the music in the Village alive!
Your support counts! the City Council will evaluate those that support our permit compared to the non-patrons. Your letter is very important, as a patron past, present or future. All that support our music, your voice will be heard, you do not have to be a resident of Capitola to count. It's time to show your support and express what you love about Capitola Village.
5.24.040 Permit Issuance
"C. Entertainment permits may be issued as herein provided for upon the city council’s or city manager’s finding that:
1. No significant number of nonpatrons will be disturbed by the entertainment, which is the subject of the permit application or, by the goings and comings of the people patronizing the entertainment events, which are the subject of the permit application;
2. The establishment at which the entertainment is to be provided or the entity which is applying for the entertainment permit is currently in compliance with all applicable state and local building, zoning, fire, and other regulations pertaining to public health and safety as well as any other statutes, ordinances, regulations, or permits that pertain to the establishment or the property on which the establishment is situated."
March 23, 2023
Lasalle and I will be submitting additional documents to the City Council Members for their review. During 2022 there were a few email interactions that raised our concerns that the tenant-landlord dispute was driven from a hidden agenda and had nothing to do with our live music. After many unreciprocated attempts to meet with Steve Yates, in November of 2022, we reached out to the local chapter of the NAACP of Santa Cruz County. On December 9, 2022, Steve Yates was informed of a written complaint and was given the opportunity to discuss the matter (letter below). Steve Yates did speak with the representative over the phone; however, the communication was fruitless.
Through our Public records request, an email thread between Steve Yates and Chief of Police, Andrew Dally were received (attached below). In December 2022 Chief Dally writes an email asking Steve Yates, "Are you open to any adjusted conditions or possibility of conflict resolution?" Chief Dally mentions several times in this thread that their only reason to deny our permit is the absence of Yate's signature. In response, on Friday Dec. 23, 2022, Yates claims that the complaint from the NAACP, "needs my attention prior to even attempting any type of resolution". Yates then goes on to state," if the Strongs did file this I will not forgive this act."
In an email from Steve Yates to Chief Dally on Monday January 23, 2023, Steve Yates again contradicts his stance that he is receiving numerous complaints from his tenants, while in this email he states," I'm going to inform the tenants to call each time these violations occur." Yates again attacks the character of Lasalle Strong, falsely claiming, " the one (tenant) I do have has had his tires slashed, smoke blown in his face and told by Mr. Strong," he was not going to like what was going to happen next."" It's disgusting and defamatory for Steve Yates to make false claims without any legal consequences.
Through the devastation of the January storms, our business was shut down for two weeks, with no assistance or rent credits from the landlord. Despite this hardship, the only concern of the landlord is to notify the Chief of Police that we had live music January 1st and January 2nd.
Mayor - Margaux Keiser
Vice Mayor - Kristen Brown
Council Member - Yvette Brooks
Council Member - Joe Clarke
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