Fountain Tap owner facing opposition from neighbors before doors open

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 20, 2016) -- An Indianapolis neighborhood isn’t giving up on keeping a local business owner away from where they live.

The signs are already up and liquor license granted for a new Fountain Square restaurant at 1044 Virginia Avenue. But that’s not stopping the people living there from fighting for an appeal that they hope would keep Fountain Tap out of Fountain Square.

Wednesday, residents continued their fight against Fountain Tap’s owner, Ryan Greb, who also owns Taps and Dolls and some other local bars.

Greb used to own Beale Street and Playhouse, formerly known as Club Molly. IMPD sources say they frequently had to respond to fights and other disturbances at Playhouse. The two locations were both shut down in 2013, because of tax payment issues.

Tad Ashcliman says he and many of his neighbors are worried that’s the kind of environment Fountain Tap will have. He’s leading the appeal against the local Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s 2015 decision to grant a liquor license for Fountain Tap.

“The scene in fountain square, it’s a food scene, it’s a live entertainment scene, it’s a theater scene, it’s an arts scene,” Aschliman said. “It’s not a raging, rowdy, frequent fight scene.”

On record at the appeal hearing Wednesday, Greb stated he doesn’t plan for Fountain Tap to be like his other clubs. Instead, he says, it will be a family dining establishment.

Aschliman and his neighbors aren’t buying it.

“It’s a family dining restaurant that opens at 6, starts serving alcohol at 7 and to quote the applicant, “Dad can also get a steak at 2 a.m.” Aschliman said. “I’m not sure how that fits within most Hoosiers’ understanding of what a family establishment is.”

Late Tuesday night, Aschliman created an online petition to show the judge and Alcohol and Tobacco Commission how badly people want to keep Fountain Tap out of their neighborhood.

Just 18 hours after the petition was created, there were 850 signatures of support.

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