Wollongong small bar Dagwood has sparked the ire of neighbours who say they have been kept awake by patron noise and music since the venue started trading three months ago.
In a submission to tonight's Wollongong Neighbourhood Forum, resident Georgia Kyriacou will accuse venue operators of showing "a lack of respect for [Dagwood's] neighbours" and propose reduced trading hours for the bar's al fresco dining area.
But operators Stan and Aaron Crinis say Dagwood is helping to build a vibrant restaurant and bar industry that will attract residents to the area.
"It's what cities are about ... it's why people choose to live in the heart of a city."
Dagwood is on the ground floor of the Adina apartment hotel building on Market Street, opposite the residential Le Onde apartment complex.
It trades until midnight Wednesday to Saturday, 11pm Monday and 10pm Sunday.
In her submission to the forum, Ms Kyriacou says noise from Dagwood has had a "life-changing impact" on herself and other residents of Le Onde, some of whom commute to Sydney for work and were early risers.
"I have received emails from my neighbours about their distress at not being able to sleep due to the ongoing sound of patrons drinking outdoors until midnight on a minimum of five nights a week," Ms Kyriacou wrote. "Rather than decreasing, the level of noise increases later in the night as patrons become more intoxicated.
"The situation is made worse by the acoustics of buildings, with the sound bouncing from the Dagwood building to Le Onde."
Residents wanted Dagwood's outdoor areas closed and its door shut at 10pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 8.30pm Sunday to Wednesday.
Ms Kyriacou said she was concerned about the impact on property prices and declared it a case of "businesses infiltrating residential areas and operating noisy establishments with little respect for their neighbours".
Dagwood opened in late November as part of a wave of new small venues that were entering or preparing to enter the city.
In a statement, Aaron Crinis said the venue played background music - "far from a thumping nightclub" - and was operated with consideration to neighbours.
"We understand that we're new to the area and some residents aren't used to the noise associated with a small bar-restaurant but we're doing our best to accommodate these residents - and will continue to do so.
"Before we opened, we letterbox-dropped notices of our liquor licence application and have at all times complied with council and OLGR [Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing] regulations. Our noise levels are no higher than any other restaurant and, while we are doing our best to keep noise to a minimum, we can't really ask our customers to whisper."
He said venues such as Dagwood were a drawcard for the city and that Wollongong City Council had been actively pursuing more small bars and restaurants to provide greater choice to residents.
"Wollongong ... needs a vibrant restaurant and bar industry to attract residents to the area and provide the sort of lifestyle many people look for in a city," Mr Crinis said.