Ordinance allowing bars on Louisville's waterfront moves backwar - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Ordinance allowing bars on Louisville's waterfront moves backward

Councilman Brent Ackerson Councilman Brent Ackerson
Councilwoman Madonna Flood Councilwoman Madonna Flood

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A controversial plan to allow bars along Louisville's waterfront faced a setback Thursday when Metro Council members sent it back to committee.

Opponents argued it would allow too many bars, stealing business from Fourth Street Live! and the rest of downtown.

"If we're gonna do this, we should really abandon the other road. It's like anything, you can't fight two fronts. We should pick an area and make it succeed," said Councilman Brent Ackerson, a Democrat.

The ordinance would allow businesses that get 51 percent or more of their revenue from alcohol to locate near Waterfront Park. Currently, there are no bars in the area -- Joe's Crab Shack and Tumbleweed restaurant get the majority of their revenue from food.

The bar crowd would ruin the family dynamic around Waterfront Park, Ackerson said.

Supporters said that, if the proposal died, it would be a signal for potential businesses to set up shop across the river instead. That's like throwing money away once the Big Four Bridge finally opens, Councilwoman Madonna Flood said.

"You're not going to see a zillion bars, and are you telling me that Tumbleweed and Joe's Crab Shack have taken away from the area? No, they haven't," Flood said.

The bars may already be allowed under existing ordinance, but the owners of Relish restaurant weren't able to get a liquor license for their River Road establishment and had to close earlier this year, Flood said. The proposal aimed to clarify Metro government's current rules, she said.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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