Bar owner chooses against locating beside daycare

By Chris Vessell bio | email

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - The owner of an Auburn daycare and those it serves are breathing a sigh of relief now that a bar owner has decided not to move in next door. Proprietor Brandon Hayes withdrew the issue from the agenda just minutes before the Auburn City Council meeting on Tuesday.

Parents were ready to put up a fight leading up to Tuesday's city council meeting, but the dust began to settle just minutes beforehand. The Columbus bar owner had applied to open a bar in a building next to Hardy's Creative Childcare, but decided against the location at the last minute.

The daycare owner, Martha Hardy says the ordeal has been an eye opener for her. "I have neglected the political side," said Hardy. "I have come to the realization that I need to be more involved," she added.

Hardy plans to urge the city to pass an ordinance that would ban a bar from locating next to any daycare within the city. "I think this is something our community should consider," Hardy said. City officials say there was once a state law banning bars from locating within feet of children, but now it's up to each city to decide.

"I think we definitely need to look at a lot of things that happened with the downtown bar situation, and that being the adjacent property owners have a lot of issues with customers who leave the lounge bar establishment," Brett Beard, Ward 4 city councilman said.

Hundreds of citizens signed a petition that was to be presented at the council meeting. "On our petition it says 'Save Hardy's'. It has not been about Hardy's to me. It's been about the health and safety of children," Hardy said.

The bar owner says he still plans to locate a branch of his Columbus bar known as Flip Flops to Auburn. He is currently looking at three other locations on Magnolia and North College Street.