The Alcohol and Tobacco Commission voted Tuesday to uphold the Marion Co. Alcoholic Beverage Board’s recommendation that Taps & Dolls lose its liquor license and Tiki Bob’s Cantina receives a one-year renewal.
INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday, The Marion County Alcoholic Beverage Board will consider requests to reject the liquor license renewals of Tiki Bob’s and Taps and Dolls, two of downtown’s most popular and troubled bars.
Both bars are seeking renewal of their permits to sell liquor.
IMPD is prepared to present evidence of more than two hundred police and liquor violation reports and twelve shootings and 47 shots fired runs last year at the two bars and in the South Meridian Street bar district.
Jason Stellema, the owner of Tiki Bob’s, told CBS4 News he is, “appalled” by the level of late-night violence downtown, but, the problems are often in the street outside of the bar or involve people who have been tossed out of his club.
IMPD indicates it investigated at least one shots fired report inside the bar in January.
The liquor license at Taps & Dolls may be at even greater risk.
Owner Ryan Greb admitted to state regulators that he had provided falsified information regarding a separate liquor license and last week the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission revoked that permit and issued three thousand dollars in fines for operations at Taps & Dolls.
IMPD detectives raided the bar in the 200 block of South Meridian Street last month in an unrelated investigation as officers were spotted removing boxes from the business.
Greb did not respond to a request for comment.
Metro Police made 166 runs to the bar last year, responding to 40 fights, three overdoses and making 15 arrests.
Last June, dozens of shots were fired in the parking lot across the street from the bars, damaging the cars of visitors and blasting holes in windows of condominiums and hotel rooms.
“It was devastating for downtown to have 50-100 shots fired in and around that area and many of the properties were hit by stray bullets so you can imagine those that want to do business downtown, who want to live downtown, that type of activity that occurs in that area certainly creates an atmosphere where no one wants to do business,” said Sherry Seiwert, President of Downtown Indy Inc.
Seiwert said deals are in the works to bring two new restaurants to empty properties in the bar district.
“When you have significant alcohol in use and a number of people jammed into a small area obviously fights are going to break out and then when they are put out to the street, that’s when they go and get their weapons and that’s when that activity occurs,” she said. “We want everybody to come downtown and enjoy downtown but not to the point where its over capacity and they are over served and then they’re turned out into the downtown streets and a lot of negative activity occurs.”
Seiwert said downtown businesses and residents have written letters in support of rejecting the license renewals.
Even if local authorities turn down the renewal requests, both bars can appeal the decisions to the state commission and stay open pending rulings.