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Outdoor music at Copenhagen Bakery denied, Mayor Koch declares at Village board meeting

Village by: Chrissy Ruggeri, September 7, 2022

Resident requests to keep the live music outside Copenhagen Bakery playing were denied at a September 6 Northport Village board meeting. The music, played near or in the bakery’s south side lot (pictured), has been a fixture on weekends throughout the summer.

Lauren Jayne attended the September 6 Northport Village board meeting on behalf of the musicians who play outside of Copenhagen Bakery over the summer, musicians whose songs were suddenly prohibited from being played last month. “I want to know, possibly, what’s going on,” she said during the public participation portion of the meeting, referring to the Village code violation that shut down the familiar sounds of live music from the popular Woodbine Avenue bakery and cafe.

“The Village code for outdoor dining prohibits live bands and outdoor music,” Mayor Donna Koch responded. “There have been a couple of complaints from the surrounding neighbors, so we went and told Mr. Hansen to stop.” Flemming Hansen is the owner of Copenhagen Bakery, where live music is often played on the weekends, from late morning into the afternoon.

Trustee Meghan Dolan noted at the meeting that the code says live music is prohibited, unless permission is granted by the Village board. Mayor Koch replied that the music at Copenhagen takes place in the parking lot, intended for patron parking, not music.

That lot however, on the building’s south side, currently houses a handful of picnic tables and a couple of two-tops, and shows no markings for parking.

“We certainly cannot allow one person to do it and not others,” Mayor Koch said, adding that allowing the music is not something she’d be willing to consider at this time. “We really have to look into outdoor dining as a whole, and what’s going on with it, and how it’s out of control.”

Ms. Jayne, a singer and songwriter who performs at Northport Village establishments including Copenhagen and Nest on Main, was told that Mr. Hansen can have the musicians inside, but is prohibited from hosting live music outdoors going forward. If he were to apply for a special permit, he would be denied, the mayor indicated.

Trustee and Commissioner of Commerce Dave Weber was not present in person at last night’s meeting due to a business trip; he attended via Zoom, but was denied a request to speak by Mayor Koch. Village attorney Ed Gathman explained that the Village does not have legislation allowing board members to speak at a meeting virtually.

Trustee Weber told the Journal that he does not believe allowing regulated outdoor music at Copenhagen would inconvenience the majority of Village residents. “We, as a board, have the ability to regulate businesses so they don’t become a nuisance to our residents,” he said. “To date, I have only seen two written complaints from one resident regarding outdoor music. As I requested from the mayor and the board, I would have liked to allow this one business the ability for outdoor music from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend at restricted times, Saturday and Sunday only.”

“As long as I am on the board, I will represent the people and will advocate for businesses,” he added. “This is not a one-person Village.”