Maria and Daniel Keaveney recently paid $72,500 for the property at 407 E. Third St. and hope to build a tiki bar there.

They go before the Owensboro Metropolitan Planning Commission on Thursday to ask that the property be rezoned from light industrial to central business.

Carol King Alvey, who lives next door to the property, wrote a letter to the editor of the Messenger-Inquirer, saying, “I’m extremely concerned about the noise level a bar will bring with it from loud music and people partying. There is no doubt peace, quiet and well-being will be completely compromised.”

Daniel Keaveney said the planned Tiki Lab will not be that type of a bar.

“Tiki Lab makes craft cocktails and a light menu served in a relaxed island vibe atmosphere,” he said. “Craft cocktails use fresh ingredients and precise preparation methods. The skill of the bartender is a feature of the experience.”

Keaveney said, “High quality ingredients include freshly squeezed fruit juices, house-made flavoring syrups and top shelf spirits.”

He said, “Tiki Lab will use the available fresh ingredients on a robust alcohol-free beverage menu. Selections may include nojito — a mojito without alcohol — sparkling waters and freshly squeezed orange juice.”

Keaveney said, “Tiki Lab will serve a menu of five to seven small plate food choices. The flavor of the dishes on the menu will complement the overall tiki island theme, and include use of locally sourced ingredients when possible.”

He said, “Tiki Lab will be a place that doesn’t take itself too seriously while serving seriously crafted drinks and delicious bar bites.”

The property had a multistory apartment building on it until October 2007, when it was damaged by a tornado.

It’s on the northeast corner of Crittenden and Third streets, one block east of J.R. Miller Boulevard.

Keaveney said, “The proposed rezoning would meet the spirit of the Owensboro 2008 Downtown Illustrative Master Plan, which included an emphasis of reinforcing the pedestrian orientation along East Third Street. It increases the amount of food chooses available for sale in the downtown area and improves cohesion of the Owensboro Entertainment District.”

He said Tiki Lab will be one block from the trolley stop at Second and Crittenden streets.

King said the Tiki Lab “would also be across the street from Friends of Sinners, which is not beneficial for them and their residents either.”

She said, “My property has been zoned light industrial for many years, although my house has been a residence since the 1930s or 1940s. It has been my home since January 1999 and my brother’s prior to that. My family first moved to this block in 1958, so we have a love of that neighborhood and the downtown area.”

King said, “All the residences have been here for decades with people who deserve a low noise level around them for sleep at an hour when a bar will still be open for business.”

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com.

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