Appleton neighbors protest alderwoman-owned bar


Fox River House during the Mile of Music.

Neighbors are mounting a campaign against the Fox River House tavern and its outdoor summer music performances.

The issue is complicated because the bar at 211 S. Walnut St. is owned by Alderwoman Patti Coenen, who also represents that district.

Coenen wants a noise variance from the city to host outdoor acts until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Mary Beth Laux, a neighbor who lives on Walnut Street, argued against the bands and gathered neighbor signatures.

“I’m very upset that I have to be here,” Laux said Wednesday at a Health Board meeting. “If my alderwoman wasn’t the person with the bar I wouldn’t have to be here and my alder could talk for me.”

Laux and other neighbors said the bands are loud and disrupt the neighborhood.

Coenen defended her business and said the bar has been in the same location for 140 years.

“I’ve called and talked to sound professionals here in town, but for an outside venue there’s not much we can do to block the sound,” Coenen said. “Stopping the music would set a precedent to stop other venues … if we shut one down we shut everybody down.”

The city’s health panel voted Wednesday to delay a decision on Coenen’s noise variance for two weeks.

— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or; on Twitter @npenzenstadler

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