Residents upset at local cigar shop’s excessive noise and smoke

A view of Hyde Park Cigars, 5220 S. Harper Ave., looking toward the southwest across South Harper Avenue, Sunday, July 1. The store’s website states that the store has “a 1,400 sq. ft. patio,” which can be seen in this photo behind the vine covered fence bordering the parking lot. – Marc Monaghan

Herald Intern

The owners of Hyde Park Cigars, 5220 S. Harper Ave., have been in business since 1999. The shop hosts many events in its outdoor patio and lounge. These events often upset nearby residents.

Norman Vujevic, who has lived near the shop for three years, says his family and neighbors “have struggled with noise and smoke,” from the popular shop.

In an email to Ald. Sophia King (4th), Vujevic says he is “joining a growing chorus of members” from Ald. King’s voting block “who are simply running out of options in managing and fostering a synergistic relationship with Hyde Park Cigars.”

Vujevic recognizes that the business brings “money, joy and a vibrant crowd to Hyde Park,” and he is willing, like his neighbors, to work with the shop on the issue.

Vujevic says the music from the shop is “regularly so loud that the walls in our home rattle.” The shop continues to play music even after city quiet hours.

“They are nice about it when I call,” said Vujevic, but sometimes “they don’t turn down the music at all, especially when they have events or people rent out the patio.”

The smoke from the shop saturates Vujevic’s backyard. City rules indicate that smoke must be properly filtrated and ventilated.

The shop has added an outdoor ceiling and partial wall to their patio which may help with the smoke, but so far the only reliable smoke dispersal has been the wind. “ But there’s been hardly any breeze at all in the last couple of days,” added Vujevic.

Nancy Baum, another Hyde Park resident, has also contacted the cigar shop to complain about the noise and smoke.

“I hope that the ward office and the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce take note of this complaint and do something about it and let us know what they have done,” she said.

Baum added that the noise and activity of the shop “affects a whole block of neighbors who are trying to live peaceful and quiet lives with their children and loved ones.”

The cigar shop manager declined to comment for this story.