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La Fundacíon Mezcalería closed, accused of exceeding noise levels

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our best stories will appear in your inbox every Monday.
Officials close down La Fundacíon Mezcalería, which two neighbors say was the wrong club to be targeted. Photo: Reporteros Hoy

La Fundacíon Mezcalería, a hipster cantina that was among the first of its kind in Mérida, closed Friday night or early Saturday when the Ministry of Health and state police shut it down for noise violations.

It is the first such closure since residents began organized protests against noise violators.

Sensors determined that the bar was generating noise above the permitted decibel level, local media reported. Technically, businesses can’t emit noise louder that 65 decibels after 10 p.m., which is somewhere between the level of normal conversation and the sound a shower makes.

But neighbors say the wrong bar was targeted.

One resident said that La Mentecata, further down Calle 56 and closer to Calle 55, is the “worse offender.”

“They probably had a tip that this was coming. Mezcalería was the sacrificial lamb,” said the neighbor, who spoke anonymously. “But the message seems pretty clear. Even the Ayuntamiento has had enough.”

Another neighbor, also asked not to be identified, agreed that officials were targeting the wrong bar.

“The neighborhood is all of one opinion about who the problem is — La Mentecata. Mezcalería listened to their neighbors’ complaints and made the necessary changes. That is what good neighbors do. Mentecata on the other hand gets multiple complaints with seemingly no problems with the city.”

La Mentecata was briefly forced to close in February 2017, but has blared music across the neighborhood with regularity ever since.

La Fundacíon Mezcalería was shut down in February 2017 for similar complaints when the Department of Urban Development sent 30 municipal police agents — some of them armed — to address citizen complaints about noise and lewd activity in the streets.

The bar was successful in luring young people into the Centro at a time when nightclubs in the north were more in favor. La Fundación Mezcalería almost immediately was featured in guidebooks and travel blogs as a hip and interesting new place to visit.

Another bar, Agua Bendita on Calle 47 facing Santa Ana Park, was also closed Friday night or early Saturday. Authorities cited sanitary deficiencies, according to Reporteros Hoy. Five others were swept up in safety-code crackdowns in recent weeks.

With information from Diario de Yucatán

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