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Camp Bar gets approval to expand

Shorewood Northwoods-themed tavern to add indoor, outdoor space

March 5, 2013

Shorewood - Nearly four months after laying roots in Shorewood, the owner of the village's newest watering hole received permission Monday to expand operations.

Paul Hackbarth, owner of Camp Bar, 4044 N. Oakland Ave., came before the Village Board and successfully sought permission to make two amendments to the original operating plan approved late last year.

When warmer weather returns, Hackbarth will be allowed to add outdoor seating to the establishment after receiving a permit. In the near future, he also has been given authority to expand the size of his operation, taking over vacant space next door at 4042 N. Oakland Ave.

Hackbarth, who has deemed his north woods-themed bar a success, said he will be adding a variety of amenities to Camp Bar as part of the expansion.

Added areas will feature a fireplace lounge area, a section described as the back bar and an expansion to a cabin-themed bar that is already in operation. The establishment also will occupy a basement area for storage.

"The community has really embraced us," Hackbarth said. "We do need a little more space, and a little more breathing room."

Hackbarth said he and his staff have been dealing with a good dilemma - steady business - and the changes are in response to what has been occurring at Camp Bar since the doors opened in mid-November.

"I don't want people not coming to the bar because it's always full," he said.

Board members lauded Hackbarth for his contribution to Shorewood's economy, but did take time to scrutinize details at Monday's meeting.

Camp Bar is located directly across the street from the Lighthorse 4041 mixed-use development that is under way. Trustee Michael Maher expressed concerns about parking and noise for the people living in the upper-level apartments when they are completed and occupied.

"I'm not anticipating any problems outside," Hackbarth said in response. "Our clientele is rather sophisticated. We don't get too many students."

In response to parking concerns, Hackbarth said the majority of his customers walk to and from the establishment. He also noted that additional on-street parking would become available when the Lighthorse 4041 project is completed.

The village does not have an ordinance on its books that explicitly states when outdoor seating can be held at an establishment once a permit is granted.

"I think that is something that will have to be looked at," Maher said.

If such a provision were to be added to Shorewood's code, Village Attorney Ray Pollen said he would recommend against a piecemeal approach from one establishment to the next.

"I think you'd have to do it globally," Pollen said of such an ordinance.

Hackbarth said he plans to increase staffing as part of the expansion.

In January, Details Magazine named Camp Bar to its list of the best new bars across the U.S.

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