Magic bar keeps live entertainment license

Federal Hill Neighborhood Association attempted to block license for Illusions

February 07, 2011|By John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore Circuit Court judge ruled Monday that a Federal Hill magic bar will be allowed to keep its live entertainment license, despite objections from the 300-member neighborhood association.

The Federal Hill Neighborhood Association challenged Illusions Magic Bar & Lounge's live entertainment license, which was granted by the city in June, claiming that residents' lives have been disrupted by the noise, parking and crime from Illusions and other nearby bars and clubs.

Ken Horsman, who owns Illusions with his son, Spencer, applied for the license last year under the city's new live-entertainment zoning rules in order to host vaudeville-style acts, such as jugglers and comedians, he said. Judge Audrey J.S. Carrion dismissed the association's motion, saying that a number of the complaining neighbors lived too far — one as many as three blocks away from Illusions— to be affected.

"I'm relieved about the decision," Ken Horsman said. "We've shown we're good neighbors. I don't know why [the neighborhood association] decided to do this."

Paul Robinson, head of the Federal Hill Neighborhood Association, said he was disappointed in the judge's ruling.

"This presents a deeply troubling and challenging situation for any neighborhood and resident," he said.

Robinson said he planned to meet with his members and other associations to discuss possible action.

Ken Horsman believes he was unfairly targeted by the neighborhood association.

"The Federal Hill Neighborhood Association has a lot of issues," said Spencer Horsman. "Don't go after the businesses with a clean slate."

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