Tillman, the Savoy's manager, said that without live entertainment he'd probably shutter the place. He said he would first consult with his investors.
One of them, businessman Bill Mays, said he'd advise throwing in the towel.
"If the neighborhood doesn't want it, fine -- it's their loss," Mays said.
Mays blames the Savoy's problems on racism. He noted that most of the Savoy's patrons were black, as were its managers. The surrounding neighborhood is mostly white.
"The conclusion I could come to is, this city doesn't want black people to have nice establishments," he said.
Mays also is part of a different investment group seeking regulatory approval to open a bar in the Carson Government Center. That group, which has met resistance, wants its own zoning variance and goes before the Metropolitan Development Commission on Nov. 1.
What is amazing about the Savoy problem, which has been brewing for more than a year, is how Mays repeated the same mistake at 300 East, where he and the other investors invested more than $500,000 to build out space in the Julia Carson Government Center for a "private club/bar" without bothering to get the necessary zoning and building permits, not to mention failing to execute a formal lease with Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer. There is a reason zoning laws and building codes exist. Mays is being treated as anyone should be when one ignores the formal processes which have been implemented to avoid these very problems. To throw down the race card at this point is completely unbecoming of Mays.
The United Way of Central Indiana would be wise to pull its television ads featuring an appeal from Mays for support. He's lost his effectiveness as a community leader by trampling all over the rights of the people living near the Savoy and the Mapleton/Fall Creek neighborhoods and then having the audacity to accuse them of being racists for simply asking that our laws be obeyed. Shame on you Bill Mays.