Planning Commission OKs later week-night music for Redcoats

British bar and pub seeks to attract more customers Wednesdays, Thursdays

Redcoats British Pub will now be allowed to offer music and dancing from Thursday through Sunday after the Planning Commission unanimously approved its request Wednesday night to add two additional days of entertainment during the week.

The restaurant, located at 336 St. Mary St., had been offering DJ music for its patrons on Friday and Saturday nights but was looking to extend the entertainment to draw a wider age group and more sales as the business has seen its profits decline in the current economic downturn.

Redcoats owner Mari Kennard said she opened her restaurant in 2005 with 50 employees; now with the economy she has just 21.

"If you talk to all of the merchants downtown, you'll find that we're all in survival mode," she told the commission. "There is a demand for this. My hope is that with Wednesday and Thursday music, it will attract more people and expand it to those who are not in the younger age group."

Kennard added that she's gone above and beyond to be courteous to her neighboring business and Gene and Genie Finch, who live 30 feet from the restaurant.

But while Gene Finch said he's supported Redcoats since it opened, he couldn't back the proposal to have the indoor music until midnight on Wednesdays and Thursdays, asking instead that the commission limit the entertainment to 10 p.m. Music is currently allowed through 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

"All we're asking for is a good neighbor policy," he said. "The music vibrates."

In addition, Finch said he keeps all his windows and skylights closed because the smell of smoke is always emanating.

But Kennard, who was backed by her security staff and other downtown business owners who spoke, said it can be difficult to police people on where they smoke and dump their cigarette butts.

As part of the commission's approval, a condition was added that Redcoats must provide signage to direct smokers to the side of the building where there is a bench, as well as replace a smoking receptacle that was stolen.

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