West Franklin Street Reacts to Hagedorn's Expansion

The Evansville Vanderburgh County Board of Zoning Appeals approved code variances for Hagedorn's on West Franklin Street Earlier this week.

This allows relaxation of codes for the bar to expand, but this comes with different reactions and opinions from businesses along Franklin. 

Jason English, Owner of Pistons says, "There's no argument or complaint the board did the right thing."

West Franklin Street is full of nightlife, food, fun, and apparently some confusion. 

"It's just business and it's just trying to keep everybody in the neighborhood that's residential happy," English says. 

The BZA approved a variance for Hagedorn's relaxing the number of parking spaces from 55 to 34. 

English says, "It's going to be done right and it's going to be phenomenal."

Many say they're excited, others confused. 

B.J. Watts, a partner with Franklin Street Tavern says, "Politics is involved in everything absolutely."

This comes after the BZA rejected parking variances for a proposed new tavern across the street in the former Bud's Harley-Davidson building. 

"There's got to be uniformity in how they make decisions and I feel like that hasn't happened," Watts says. 

Some say they feel there are inconsistencies with decisions made by the BZA. 

"You're highlighting that problem now because a business that asked for more than what K.C. did received it and he didn't," Watts says. 

Others say the Hagedorn's variance is different from the proposed tavern called Franklinsteins. 

"Bud's is not a restaurant or a nightclub like they want to turn it into," English says. "I mean Hagedorn's is already here it's already a restaurant it's already a bar."

While it may not be a change of use, this building still sits vacant. 

"Jason English and Pistons was not the objector and the one fighting Kerry Chesser," English says. 

"The West Side is a pretty special place and Franklin Street is a very special place and we all understand that when we work together everyone does better," Watts says. 

Kerry Chesser, who proposed the new tavern called Franklinsteins says he is supportive and excited for Hagedorn's.

The attorney for Franklinsteins has filed an action with the Vanderburgh Superior Court seeking judicial review of the matter. 


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