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St. Charles Main Street music debate

10:39 PM, Oct 3, 2012   |    comments
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By Elizabeth Matthews

St. Charles, MO (KSDK) - Downtown St. Charles is known for its quaint Main Street, but some want to change that, just a little. Some merchants want to be allowed to have live music, breaking a 40-year-old rule.

Other merchants don't want to mess with the ambiance of the community.

"We don't want bars, we don't want the nightlife, that disrupts the village atmosphere that we have," said property owner Holly Haddox.

That atmosphere she's is talking about are the old brick roads and buildings, local shops and restaurants. Main Street in St. Charles is divided, north Main is known for its nightlife, and south Main is more residential.

"I want to be able to have a vocalist and a piano and enjoy that opportunity like everyone else in the city of St. Charles," said restaurant owner Dave Campbell.

He owns the Little Hill Winery and Restaurant on South Main street and he says he doesn't want to become the next hip club hangout, but would like the same privileges as everyone else.

As the law stands right now a handful of restaurants, including Campbell's, in the historic district that have liquor licenses are restricted from having live music.

That rule has been on the books for the past 40 years, Haddox says that's for a reason.

"It becomes a draw for people to stay longer and drink more," she said.

Haddox owns The Conservatory which is a hot spot for events and weddings. She says she doesn't want south Main, where she lives, to turn into north Main, explaining that the problem is not "live music," the problem is when you combine live music, alcohol and late night hours.

Campbell says that will not happen, he's an investor in the district and agrees, the atmosphere should stay the same.

"It's just not who we are, it's not who any of these restaurants are, and I think that's the fear they want everybody to think," said Campbell. "That this place, we are going to somehow transform tomorrow, we get live music and we open as a club and we stay open until two o'clock and we've got a huge band, that's just not it at all."

There will be a public hearing on this topic at St. Charles council meeting Thursday night.

KSDK

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