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Neighbors want town to rein in bar PDF Print E-mail
Community
Written by MARK JAEGER   
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 16:03

Town officials warn Little Kohler Haus that liquor license is at risk

Residents of the neighborhood of Little Kohler appeared in force during last week’s Fredonia Town Board, demanding controls be placed on a bar that has long been a haven for motorcycle riders.

It was the third consecutive board meeting that neighbors complained about live music and motorcycle noise coming from the Little Kohler Haus, 4810 Hwy. H.


As at the past meetings, resident Jean Lord served as the spokesperson for the neighbors.


Lord said the live music coming from the bar overwhelms the quaint neighborhood.


“During the Labor Day weekend, the music and even the vibration was so strong it could be felt all the way in Waubeka,” she said.


Lord said Little Kohler Haus is the only bar in Ozaukee County that allows outdoor music.


She suggested the town create an ad hoc committee that would investigate ways to rein in activities at the bar.


Another angry resident said the racket is becoming unbearable, including motorcycle riders revving their engines and racing through the area after bar time.


“It is bad enough that we have to listen to the motorcycles at all hours of the night, but now we have to put up with the music. You’ve got to do something,” the neighbor told the board.


The tone of the discussion became increasingly emotional as neighbors talked about their concerns.


Bar owner Timothy Trenkle said he has tried to be responsive to the complaints. He has posted signs at the bar entrances asking patrons to respect the neighbors, and purchased a decibel meter to measure the noise level on the property.


Trenkle denied music is allowed outdoors after 10 p.m., a restriction imposed by the town.


He said he has been working to improve the bar’s image in the community, and hopes it will become a place neighbors frequent for a meal and relaxing.


“We are trying to attract an older crowd, but it has been a challenge. We are here for the long term not the short term, and at the end of the day I can’t afford to lose my license,” Trenkle said.


Although the neighbors call the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department whenever there is a noise complaint, bar manager David P. Cook said the department has not issued any citations at the bar since Trenkle took it over several years ago.


Board members said they are growing weary of hearing complaints about the bar, and urged the owner to come up with a business plan that is acceptable to the neighbors and the town.


“That would include no music after 9:30 p.m. Your liquor license is at stake, and that would affect the value of your property,” Supr. Lance Leider said.


“If you can’t keep it down, the board will have to act.”


Town Chairman Richard Mueller reinforced that warning.


“You need to give us a timeline that will satisfy these noise complaints. If you can’t, we’ll pull the license,” Mueller said.

 


 


Image Information: NEIGHBORS IN LITTLE Kohler have asked Town of Fredonia officials to intervene in dealing with the Little Kohler Haus, a bar on Highway H that has a long history as a favorite watering hole for motorcyclists. The bar owner has posted signs asking patrons to be considerate of the neighbors.                                                                       

Photo by Mark Jaeger

Comments (2)Add Comment
Mark Nugent
Not my spokesperson!
written by Mark Nugent, October 09, 2013
Let me begin by stating clearly, that as a resident of Little Kohler, Jean Lord is not my spokesperson. After reading the article in the Sept. 18th Ozaukee Press concerning this matter, I've become irritated by what is apparently being presented as fact.

I know this tavern has existed in it's present location for a long time. A friend's grandparent's had their wedding reception there long before those complaining about all this existed. We all know ahead of time, when we set out to purchase our homes or settle into a given area, of the surroundings, and then decide if we wish to tolerate living there. If I moved in next to a soccer field, I would expect to have frequent activity next to me. Next to a farm, the smell of manure, the sounds of working machinery, and so on. That being said, the Tavern came before the homes around it, the subdivisions, and quite likely before the former pig farm where Jean Lord lives. The site is rumored to have been a stagecoach stop in the day and should be registered as a Historical Landmark.

We finally have a local business establishment in our area of the Town, which provides a very convenient location whereby friends and neighbors are able to meet and socialize. Proprietor Dave Cook has generated a seamingly successful business in our small community in a location which has struggled over the years to do so. He's done much to spruce up the property and provide customers things they're attracted to such as a creative and unique environment, music, and a pleasant atmosphere. And if you haven't tried their food, you're missing out. To pull the rug out from under this entrepreneur would be a great injustice. We should all be doing what we can to support our local businesses, not shutting them down or inhibiting their progress.

Dave has had only a handful of bands this summer, which happened to be the 110th anniversary celebration for Harley-Davidson. He's complied with monitoring decibel levels and shutting down bands at 10 P:M. He built a nice deck outside with a stage with walls and roof in an effort to absorb and direct sound away from adjacent properties, and posted signs all over the property requesting customers please respect neighbors and leave quietly. They are trying to be good neighbors.

In our area, there's outdoor music provided at many outdoor venues including downtown Saukville & Grafton, the parks of Cedarburg and West Bend, during local picnics and festivals including Boltonville, Newburg, Kewaskum, Random Lake, Cedarburg, Grafton, Port Washington, and yes, even Thiensville and Mequon. There's also outdoor music during the evening Flag Day event in Waubeca. Many of these events include loud fireworks as well. At out house, we can hear most of those events as well as early morning revely from Camp Awana, followed by the Star-Spangled Banner and so on. We also hear farm equipment, traffic, and all sorts of aircraft at all hours of the day and night. Even the occasional squalks of a neighbor's peacock (which appears to be allowed to roam on other's properties).

As far as attracting motorcycles, well, many of those motorcyclists are residents of the area themselves. And they are a legal means of transportation after all. Closing down this bar will do nothing to keep motorcyclists from using County Rd H, which is a main thoroughfare in our area. You must recall our former Governor proudly proclaiming, "Wisconsin is a place where eagles soar, Packers score and Harleys roar". These aren't reckless hellions we're talking about. Most of those large groups are out raising money for charitable causes, including one I know of which is for an animal rehabilitation cause.

If this Town Board can take an obviously exaggerated lie such as, “the music and even the vibration was so strong it could be felt all the way in Waubeka” as fact, then no justice will be served. I respectfully ask the Town Board to allow music to be played under the current ordinances in place and allow The Little Kohler Haus to continue operation without further restriction or harrassment. Please don't allow Little Kohler to become the place where "the music died".
Kim Rae
We Need to Support our Small Local Businesses
written by Kim Rae, October 09, 2013
The Little Kohler Haus may be a haven for motorcyclists but it is a haven for other people too.

It has been a hectic Summer for me. I enjoy having a place nearby that I can stop at. It’s nice to see neighbors there and catch up with what is going on in their lives.

If you haven’t heard, The Little Kohler Haus has an excellent dinner menu. A couple of weeks ago I had a grilled salmon salad with candied walnuts, craisins and more. How nice to have such a fine place to eat so close to home! Their fish frys are excellent also.

The Little Kohler Haus hosts a volleyball league in the Summer. Even though I don’t play volleyball, I enjoy walking there and watching the young adults play.

It’s not true that other Ozaukee bars don’t host outdoor music. There is the Dog Haus and Beanies to name just a couple. Many Ozaukee communites host outdoor music also, Cedarburg hosts an outdoor music concert series each Friday (June – August) 6:30pm – 10:00pm at Cedar Creek Park. Right in the middle of the City! Can you imagine how many neighbors this affects? It is a place where neighbors congregate and socialize while enjoying music outside. And people in Cedarburg Love it! It is one of the many reasons people want to live there. I can think of 2 homes right near the Little Kohler Haus that are under forclosure, because the value of their house dropped below what they paid for it several years ago. No it wasn’t because of the Little Kohler Haus. And yes, I seen both of these neighbors listing to FREE music there.

Saukville hosts Live at the Triangle six nights during the Summer on Wednesday nights. Bands are a big expense to those who host them. I think that it is unreasonable to ask a bar to shut down music at 9:30. Most people don’t go out until later.

I understand from the article in the Ozaukee press that Jean Lord has made herself the spokesperson for the neighbors. I’m here to say that she isn’t representing me.

I’m tired of people who think that the world should revolve around them. Neighbors need to learn to get along and be tolerant of each other. Sometimes our neighbor John is out working the field after midnight in the Summer. Do we hear him, of course, is the tractor loud? Yes. We also know that John works really hard during the day and that is the only time he has to work the field. And as far as Jean Lord goes, many of us neighbors have quietly tolerated the noise from her peacocks for years. If you are not aware of the noise that a peacock makes, then I suggest you google it. Or paste this link in your search bar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMGPmIxYfEQ

You can’t blame the Little Kohler Haus for motorcycles driving past all hours of the night. You are living county road H. It is one of the main East to West roads in the area.

The biggest problem the Little Kohler Haus has is that it draws customers. And because of the Little Kohler Haus, Cooks, waitresses, bartenders and bands have a job! Please don’t push a successful business out of our town.

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