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