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The Friendly Confines one step closer to keeping controversial patio open

A neighborhood bar is under heavy scrutiny from those living nearby because of past noise violations.

Families are hoping something is done once and for all, but the bar is hoping to reach a compromise with the city.

Bob Burg is the owner of the Friendly Confines in South Bend.

“90 percent of neighbors love us. You know growing up, there was always that one neighbor,” said Burg.

Beyond the marquee and the rolled up “W” flag that adorns the facade of these Friendly Confines, concerned players are representing both teams.

Linnie Caye grew up in the neighborhood and lives a black and a half away from the sports bar.

"The neighbors here have always been fine with this bar in this neighborhood. What we are not ok with is an outdoor nightclub,” said Caye.

It’s a war of worlds that has spanned for three years since the bar, situated on a quiet South Bend street, opened a patio for more patrons in 2014.

The owner got a decibel reader from the South Bend Police to test the noise levels.

"We never went over the decibel reader, so it was never illegal as far as the police was concerned. The neighbor just kept complaining. And know she’s looking at different avenues to close the bar down,” said Burg. 

Burg is now asking bar-goers to “save the deck” on Facebook.

Many of his supporters showed up to the area board of zoning appeals meeting in South Bend, where Burg asked the board to compromise and allow the bar to remain open, but move the music inside. 

Some neighbors are still asking for severe punishment, while others say the Friendly Confines are good for the betterment of their community.

Kevin Wooding is a concerned neighbor.

“The blatant disregard for codes and the blatant disregard for the peace and quiet of this neighborhood, I would like to see this place closed,” said Wooding. 

Terrence Fultz lives next door to the bar.

“I don’t have any complaints or anything so I hope they stay in business,” said Fultz. 

The zoning board of appeals passed the proposal for a compromise and the issue will now go in front of the common council.

If the council approves the patio to remain open, the owner says the patio will close at 11 p.m. every night and music will permanently be inside.

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