LAGUNA BEACH (CBSLA.com) — When singer Kenny Loggins performed one of his most famous songs at a Laguna Beach restaurant and bar last month, the owner had no idea how ironic it would prove to be.
Just like the movie, “Footloose,” where the town forbade dancing and rock music, the state Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control or “ABC” shut down Mozambique for five days because the restaurant allows dancing and some loud music.
“People move to music. It’s not a dance floor, they move to music. There’s no noise,” Mozambique owner Ivan Spiers said. “The city can’t even get a decibel reading outside our perimeter.”
Tuesday night, Spiers tore down the temporary no dancing sign and threw a party. Loyal customers shared a toast.
“We are here to celebrate with Mozambique for being able to open again,” customer Terri Smith said.
“We should be able to dance. I mean come on,” customer Christina Glass said.
Spiers blames two neighbors he says complained to ABC. He says the agency focused on noise near the entrance and dancing in the bar area.
“It’s just a bureaucratic nightmare,” Spiers said.
Mozambique sits on PCH in downtown Laguna near other businesses. It also butts up against homes. Many neighbors say they have no problem with noise. One person who didn’t want to go on camera said:
“It’s not the restaurant itself, it’s the people walking down the street that are loud and obnoxious.”
Spiers had to pay a fine, but it’s his employees’ lost wages he’s most upset about. He says the shutdown cost them $50,000. He doesn’t know what ABC will do next.
“I really hope that we can bring neighbors and the restaurant together and work this out,” musician Jason Feddy said.