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Tiki Bob's given liquor license renewal as Taps and Dolls denied by Alcoholic Beverage Board

Posted at 7:30 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 19:34:56-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Two troubled, popular downtown bars fought to renew their liquor licenses Monday.

It comes after a push from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and community members to shut both bars down due to years of violence and safety concerns.

The Marion County Alcoholic Beverage Board denied the renewal of Taps and Dolls' liquor license, stating it was a public nuisance. Its next-door neighbor, Tiki Bob's, was given a second chance with a one-year renewal.

For hours, the board went back and forth with Taps and Dolls and Tiki Bob's.

IMPD, the mayor's office, Downtown Indy and other downtown facilities urged the board to deny both establishments liquor licenses.

"It's chaos, disorder and violence," said IMPD Capt. Christopher Boomershine.

Police documents show between 2019 and 2021, IMPD responded to more than 1,000 calls at Tiki Bobs. That includes fights, rape, overdoses, and more.

Officers responded to nearly 400 at Taps and Dolls.

Boomershine said the violence has been so bad that dozens of officers work overtime in front of the bars Thursday trough Sunday to keep up.

"The downtown district has spent over a million dollars some years trying to control all of the chaos, disorder, violence associated with the bar crowds," Boomershine said.

Taps and Dolls' owner admitted to the board that he previously provided them with false information regarding a different liquor license.

More than 15 pages of code violations and concerns about safety led the board to deny Taps and Dolls liquor license.

Community members stated the owner doesn't portray a moral character and claimed the bar was a public nuisance.

Tiki Bobs didn't have any violations, but the board heard complaints of violence and over-serving their customers by members of the community.

"I would've like to see the board issue a denial however, we did not have a strong case against Tiki Bob's like we did Taps and Dolls," said Boomershine.

Tiki Bob's will face the board again in September.

Its owner and general manager promise to beef up security, update technology and provide de-escalation and bartender training for employees — something IMPD says is a must.

"We are trying to send a message to the bars, the nightclubs, event halls that if you create an environment of chaos, disorder and violence, we are going to follow through in investigating you and remonstrating your liquor license," said Capt. Boomershine.

Both Taps and Dolls and Tiki Bob's declined to comment.

The final decision for each bar rests with the State Alcohol and Tobacco Commission.

For now, both bars will remain open and continue to serve liquor.