NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y.—The beat goes on near the Niagara Falls bistro, Wine on Third. And on and on and on and on.
What sounds like a marching band rendition of the University of Iowa fight song plays on a grating loop all evening, every evening from a vacant building across the street from the restaurant.
Why remains anyone’s guess, even after a flurry of media attention last week had theories flying.
It wasn’t the Iowa caucus. That came and went Monday with no change.
It’s probably not a die-hard Hawkeyes fan’s stunt, given the 760 miles between the upstate New York city and the school, where spokeswoman Anne Bassett says there’s been no explanation. Besides, it’s not aimed at a sports bar: The restaurant patrons hearing it are interested for the moment in wines, not wins.
If the owner of the offending building has a beef with Wine on Third, its owners say, he hasn’t raised it with them.
“Everyone keeps asking, why do you think he’s doing it? I wish I had the slightest clue, I really do,” said Eamon Weber, son of co-owner Sean Weber, as he tended bar this week. “We’re assuming that it’s against us and he’s doing it to antagonize us, just because there’s really not anything else around on the street.”
The businessman known as “Smokin’ Joe” Anderson did not return telephone messages to The Associated Press or, according to news stories, other reporters.
“It’s selfish,” Wine on Third employee Brook D’Angelo said as the horn-and-cymbal arrangement clashed outside. “He’s not the only person on the block.”
The spirited serenade seemed to begin just as the restaurant began using its newly expanded patio for the summer crowd, Weber said, which includes tourists to the city’s namesake Niagara Falls. The timing, from 3-11 p.m. seven days a week spans the restaurant’s prime time.
Mayor Paul Dyster couldn’t help but notice it while dining with his wife on the patio over the summer. Nor did he miss that some tourists appeared to be irritated enough by the music to leave.
“The problem is not that it’s excessively loud. It’s that it’s repetitious and annoying,” Dyster said.
The repeating bars are not believed to be loud enough to violate the city’s noise ordinance, but Dyster said a city council member and the planning department are looking into other possible solutions, including the idea of regulating music in certain districts. Someone who feels harassed or harmed could also pursue a civil complaint, Dyster noted, though he’d prefer a friendlier resolution.
“I would hope that in the end,” the mayor said, “neighborliness and common sense would prevail.”