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Council OKs Friendly Confines patio, another bar withdraws patio plans

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—

Some folks who live in South Bend are fed up while others are embracing bars in their backyards.

“It causes, just a really unfortunate situation for all the neighbors to have to deal with it,” said neighbor Maria Tomasula.

Battles in two neighborhoods went before South Bend’s common council Monday.

For now, the council has decided the outdoor patio at the Friendly Confines is here to stay.

While the bar Frank’s Place’s plans to build a patio of its own, won’t happen anytime soon.

There was quite a bit of support for the former Monday.

Customers showed up to speak up on behalf of the Friendly Confines.

But some people living in the neighborhood say, the bar is not-so-friendly to neighbors.

“The statements from patrons who do not live within 300 feet of the bar should be irrelevant,” said neighbor Linnie Caye during the meeting.

The patrons’ statements were effective as the council approved a special permit for the bar to keep the patio open but with some changes.

The council implored the bar to keep all music inside the bar.

“What’s most important is that we make sure that whatever businesses in our community, that they’re actually friendly neighbors,” said councilwoman Regina Preston-Williams.

Folks on Navarre Street say they faced similar problems.

“We’re hoping to prevent any expansion at Frank’s Place,” said Tomasula.

The bar had plans to build an outdoor patio behind the business.

Tomasula and her neighbors put up a gate 10 years ago to block the alley they share with the bar.

Neighbors say the gate has cut down on crime at night, but they still find trash in their yards every day.

“It also includes the occasional needle and used condoms,” said Tomasula.

They found resolution to their latest battle with the bar Monday.

The attorney for Frank’s Place withdrew the proposal to expand ahead of the hearing.

The attorney said he withdrew the proposal because he had doubts about its passage after neighbors spoke out against it during a committee meeting.

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