BELLEVUE, Ky. — Bellevue bar and restaurant owners are happy for the end of Kentucky’s COVID-19 restrictions, but a city noise ordinance still silences live music at 10 p.m.
“It’s all about bringing people together,” Three Spirits Tavern owner Charlie Zimmerman said. “Music is the binding factor. The glue that holds us together. Right now, that’s what we need more than anything.”
Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue has seen a lot of changes in the past year. The city didn’t allow outdoor dining, and there was no outdoor entertainment before the coronavirus. Then COVID-19 made many indoor gatherings impossible.
“During COVID, when the mayor, due to the governor’s order, allowed for unlimited outdoor dining and music, everyone saw an explosive growth in what the possibility of what the district could be,” Zimmerman said.
Venue owners want the ability to have live music outside until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with a curfew of 10 p.m. the other days of the week.
“We want to have the biggest tool in our toolbox we can possibly get,” Zimmerman said. “Being a neighbor and steward of my community, I understand the importance of having controls on that.”
Not everyone agrees. Mayor Charlie Cleves lives near the bar, and his thoughts are of his neighbors' peace.
“There are all houses right next to him,” he said of Zimmerman. “People are living in all the houses there, and behind him, and on the other side of him."
Cleves thinks the neighborhood needs to find harmony.
“Mr. Zimmerman plays music so loud that my front windows vibrate on my house,” he said. “I think 10 p.m. is the good balance. It’s longer than they (our neighbors) wanted, and shorter than he wants it. Everyone has to give a little to get along.”
Zimmerman said even though it’s an hour difference, those 60 minutes could make all the difference in extending Bellevue's revitalization.
“It’s important that I respect my neighbor,” he said. “It’s also important that they respect us as well. the fact that these businesses need the recovery.”
Bellevue’s city council is expected to vote on the outdoor seating and outdoor entertainment ordinance at the next meeting on July 14.