WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – A Wausau bar owner has cleaned up his act, making 16 changes to security, noise levels and overall operations that neighbors say has led to quieter and more peaceful nights.
An attorney for IC Willy's owner Tom Nowell detailed the changes during a meeting with neighbors at the police department Monday night. The meeting followed months of concerns that neighbors could hear and feel loud bass levels coming from the bar.
Among the changes – turning the speakers so that music reverberates inside the bar, limiting music to four nights a week, installing seven cameras outside the bar and 17 cameras inside, security guards sweeping the parking lot every half hour, joining the tavern league, cutting off drunk customers and restricting access to anyone who wears gang affiliated clothing.
Neighbors initially frustrated with noise levels said they have not heard any loud noise or felt any bass from the bar since the changes were made.
“I can honestly say I don't hear it anymore,” said Jeanette Tesch, who lives a few houses from the bar with her husband Terry.
“It's tolerable,” Terry Tesch said. “We've been able to sleep.”
Police have not received any calls for service since the east side Kent Street bar reopened January 18. Nowell voluntarily agreed to suspend his license for two weeks as part of a deal in which police agreed not to pursue any further disciplinary action for noise or nudity that occurred during a November 14 taping of Girls Gone Wild.
“At this point, I'm very pleased,” said police Chief Jeff Hardel.
All sides called Monday's meeting a good first step but said the situation bears watching.
Nowell will host a meeting on the first Monday of every month to talk with neighbors about any concerns. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the lower bar.
“What Tom wants to do is be a good neighbor,” said attorney Ryan Lister.
Nowell also announced plans to seek city approval for a fenced off area outside the bar. The city denied his request the first time he made it last summer.