Local church says ReSurfaced is disrespectful of recovering alco - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local church says ReSurfaced is disrespectful of recovering alcoholics in the area

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some consider it a positive community gathering, while others see it as a sign of disrespect.

The Jeff. Street Baptist Community at Liberty Church helps recovering alcoholics. Church leaders say having a visible bar right across the street from them can act as a trigger, and they want ReSurfaced to stop selling alcohol or move locations.

“We're very disappointed they're doing open air sale of alcohol,” Rev. Cindy Weber said.

The church sits in the shadows of the new installment of ReSurfaced at the corner of East Liberty and South Shelby Streets.

“We didn't hear about this project until it was as they say a done deal,” Rev. Weber said.

She and other church leaders say the sale of alcohol just steps away from them could be harmful to the recovering alcoholics they serve and others in the area.

“I want this to always be a safe place for them, and having that over there totally makes this not safe for them anymore,” Rev. Diane Moten said.  

The Baptist Church is just several steps from ReSurfaced, and in a three block radius, there are four other agencies that also help deal with addiction.

“Here you smell it, that's a huge trigger, and you see it, and that's a huge trigger,” Rev. Weber said.

Organizers of the pop-up plaza say they empathize with the congregation, however they say the members aren't seeing the bigger picture.

“There's a lot of temptation in the world, so we're trying to be sensitive to that. We think the positives out way the negatives,” said NULU Business Association President Gill Holland.

“This is so much more than a beer garden or about beer. This is about community gathering, community celebration, local entertainment, local food,” said Jeanne Hilt with Louisville Downtown Partnership.

By September, the site will feature a community workshop studio, market space and soccer field.

“Underprivileged youth will have the opportunity to be out here playing soccer and have exposure to a whole different area of town that maybe they haven't been able to be at before,” Hilt said.

But the church says it will not rest unless something changes.

“We want them to hear our concerns, and we want them to not sell alcohol when they start up again in the fall or move to a different site,” Rev. Weber said.

ReSurfaced is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday the next two weeks. It will then close down and reopen on a larger scale in September.

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