LINCOLN — The Déjà Vu Lounge in west Omaha will receive a liquor license despite protests Thursday from neighbors.
In a 3-0 vote, the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission granted a license to the bar at 1021 S. 178th St., which was home to the Wet Lounge until Aug. 1.
Commissioners said the neighbors didn’t provide enough evidence to suggest Déjà Vu, or the bar located there previously, had violated laws during their operation.
Déjà Vu has been selling alcohol on a temporary permit related to Wet Lounge’s previous license at the same location.
Neighbors testified that the bar created noise problems and attracted criminal activity, though commission Chairman Robert Batt said there weren’t enough police calls to the area to warrant denying the license.
Déjà Vu owner Nichole Richardson, who was previously a manager at the Wet Lounge, said she has turned Déjà Vu into its own bar and experience. She offers her own specials, though she said she still markets the bar to former Wet Lounge clientele as well as the rest of the city. The bar has a patio patrons can use.
Neighbors complained of noise and damage to grass and a median outside of the Pacific Springs Square, where the bar is located.
“I have a lot of problems with noise in the bar,” said Diana Schlautman, who lives about a block away.
Schlautman said she likes to sleep with her windows open at night when the weather allows and said crowds leaving at closing time on the weekends wake her.
“I’m not a teetotaler,” she told the commission. “I like to party and have a good time. I know what it’s like to leave a bar in the morning.”
Richardson’s lawyer, Michael Lehan, pointed out that there are several businesses nearby, and questioned whether all of the noise could be attributed to Déjà Vu.
Pacific Springs Square is zoned for business and is located near Pacific Springs Place, which has a Hy-Vee Supermarket.
Schlautman said she was aware nearby areas were zoned for business but would not have built her home in the neighborhood 13 years ago if she had known a bar would open a block away. She said she’s worried about her property values.
The Wet Lounge opened in 2006.
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