The City-County councilman who represents the area, Patrice Abdullah, opposed serving liquor in the building but said he'd defer to his constituents in the neighborhood. He said he never got a clear answer from them. Abduallah was out of town Wednesday, at the National League of Cities convention in Reno, Nev.Hopefully, Mr. Abduallah's luck has run out after rolling the dice on the taxpayer's dime, and the voters will end his completely ineffective tenure on the city-county council when he stands for re-election next year. By the way, I always thought his name was spelled "Abdullah", as many others do apparently based on web searches, but the city's website shows the spelling as "Abduallah." Some official city records have misspelled his name "Abdullah" in the past as has the Islamic Society of North America, an organization affiliated with his Muslim faith.
The two neighborhood leaders of the Mapelton-Fall Creek Neighborhood Association, who twice refused to give neighbors the opportunity to vote on 300 East, showed up and testified that the residents supported the bar anyway. "But at Wednesday's meeting, prominent neighborhood leaders Al Polin and Clara Warner, both outspokenly in favor of the restaurant/bar, insisted they'd polled residents by phone and that the majority of residents favor it also," the Star reports. And Rep. Julia "I ain't got no nickel in that dime" Carson sent a letter to specifically state she "had no opinion whatsoever" on the bar to disabuse anyone on the Commission of the notion she opposed the bar. "In September, as the flap was erupting, she said she opposed selling liquor in the building, where she has her local offices," the Star notes.
According to the Star story, the soonest the bar can open based on the timing of approval of the transfer of a liquor license is January 16, 2007. The bar's owners made this promise to gain approval for their license:
Before the variance was granted Wednesday, the restaurateurs agreed to close by 10 p.m. weekdays and by midnight Saturdays and Sundays. They agreed to have no live entertainment, including DJs. They agreed to keep the piped-in music at 60 decibels or lower on their outdoor deck -- and to shut it off completely if asked to by either the local neighborhood association or the community development group.
Recall that one of 300 East's principal investors, Bill Mays, also owned the Savoy nightclub on the city's northside--a neighborhood pub which was later converted to a dance club and operated illegally for more than a year before it was shut down after the MDC denied it a zoning variance request made after the fact--but not before plaguing the area with crime and drugs. Although it's not mentioned in the story, at least one attendee claims the bar owners were also granted permission to stay open late during special events, such as Colts and Pacer games. That would add dozens of nights during the year the bar could operate after-hours if that's the case.