Cornelius approves Lucky Dog permit
by Staff Writer
by Brian Carlton
CORNELIUS – Dog owners in Cornelius will soon have a new place to take their pets. Before a crowded room filled with supporters, the town board unanimously approved the Lucky Dog conditional use permit during its Monday, May 7, meeting.
The dog bar will be located at 19607 Statesville Road, formerly Kylies Restaurant, between NAPA Auto Parts and Mattress Express. Business owners Kim and William Waugh said they got the idea from their desire to bring pets along when they went to watch a game.
“We are dog lovers, we have four rescues that we just adore,” Kim Waugh said. “We hate leaving them home when we want to go out and watch football, so we basically came up with this concept. It’s just something we felt the Lake Norman area could really use.”
The business will function as an indoor/outdoor dog park, with full service grooming, a dog daycare, boutique and a bar/lounge area for owners.
“To have a place like the Lucky Dog in Cornelius, which is really central to the whole Lake Norman area, will be really popular,” ReMax realty agent and local Kathy Byrnes said. “The majority of homeowners that are coming, they have dogs.”
Cornelius resident Matt Sizemore echoed her comments, also pointing out that the previous business in the building, Kylies Restaurant, was also a bar with a lot of drinking and loud music. If no one complained or tried to shut the restaurant down, Sizemore asked, why are people challenging a dog bar?
Other businesses raise complaints
For the nearby Hampton Inn, the idea of a dog bar is less than exciting.
“We are not opposed to dogs, I’m a dog lover,” Hampton Inn Vice President Bob Daly said. “And we are not opposed to dog parks. But we are opposed to the location of this dog park.”
Daly, who lives in Raleigh, came to the meeting with his sister and fellow company vice president, Charisse Daly Kleinman, along with some of the workers from the Hampton Inn facility in Cornelius.
Times have been tough, Daly said, and the Hampton Inn can’t afford to lose customers due to barking dogs. The Lucky Dog facility would be 300 feet from Hampton Inn, about the length of a football field.
Mattress Express store manager Neil Jackson, whose company is next to the business, said he had concerns as well.
“Like the Hampton Inn, I sell sleep,” Jackson said. “We have a classical music playing, it’s a nice atmosphere to have.”
Jackson asked commissioners to order the business to create a plan to address excessive barking.
Charisse Kleinman, who is in charge of quality control for the Hampton Inn company, said the issue for her was one of control. All Hampton Inn hotels allow small dogs, at a maximum of one per room.
“We do allow dogs at our hotel, but we can control that situation,” Kleinman said. “If the dog barks and creates a problem, we can put that family out. If this park’s patrons affect our customers, we can’t ask them to put their dogs out.”
“This is a tough spot for us,” commissioner John Bradford said, questioning how a dog park 300 feet away would be any different than a neighbor’s dog or a pet brought in by a guest. “You’re a victim of your own crime. You control your own destiny in your hotel,” Bradford said.
Kleinman and Hampton Inn Cornelius General Manager Jessica Devlin said the hotel provides ear-plugs and a sound machine to help guests drown out noise.
Other Hampton Inn employees also spoke, questioning the impact having an establishment next door that served alcohol late at night could bring.
“Alcohol, when it comes to unbecoming behavior, that can lead to issues,” Devlin said. “We have guests who walk up and down Statesville Road to go to the Acropolis Restaurant. They will be passing (the Lucky Dog). They will be passing smells. They will be passing barking.”
Commissioners approved the permit with conditions including building an 8-foot, solid fence on the south side of the property, facing the hotel and creating a policy to address any barking complaints. In addition, the Lucky Dog will only pressure-wash the facility during the day, avoiding late night or early morning hours.
Want to learn more?
Luck Dog Bark and Brew will offer dog grooming, doggie day care, a bar and a sports-themed boutique. All dog lovers are welcome, even if they are not dog owners.
For more information about the business and to stay up-to-date on its progress, visit www.luckydoglkn.com, call 704-896-5550 or email email@example.com.