INDIANAPOLIS — The Living Room Lounge occupies a corner on Pennsylvania Street and St. Joseph Street downtown; it is in the middle of a neighborhood full of transitional housing for residents quite often on the road to recovery or under court jurisdiction.
It’s also been the site of multiple police runs this year, including an IMPD response to multiple shots fired early Sunday morning that shattered an apartment window and a car windshield.
“Apparently there was a shootout at the bar last night and I heard six or seven shots and then a bullet came through my bedroom window and into my wall,” said Michelle Beavers, a neighbor. “There’s violence there every night until four a.m. My room faces the bar and even with the blinds down, all you can see is red and blue lights every night, fighting, gunshots, loud music, chaos and nothing gets done.”
The front door to the Living Room Lounge features a sticker that advises patrons with guns are prohibited. Signs also warn that the property is scanned by surveillance cameras inside and out, and an employee said security occasionally patrols the property.
Yet, since the first of this year, IMPD has listed the bar’s address on reports of an assault, a carjacking, a robbery, a murder from August 1st that is still listed as unsolved, as well as calls of annoyance and crime complaints.
“You can hear bottles smash, you can hear girls fighting with each other, you can hear gunshots. I’ve been across the street here for a little under a year-and-a-half and it’s constant consistently,” said Danielle Hoffman. “It’s in and out of that building, always.”
A woman who identified herself as the owner of the bar and refused an on-camera interview request said the area’s problems are traceable to the neighborhood and not her business. Sunday morning’s incident was contained to the streets outside the bar.
“Is it the bar or is it the neighborhood?” I asked Hoffman.
“I feel like in every area there’s a bad neighborhood but that can be more controlled,” she said. “It’s more or less the bar.”
IMPD confirmed it has no open investigations into the bar’s operations that would impact the renewal of its liquor license next summer.