Broad Ripple group doubles down in fight over Kilroy's

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Members of the Broad Ripple Village Association are vowing to continue their fight against a new Kilroy's Bar n' Grill after they were denied a chance to speak out about the plan at a public hearing.

Several members of the neighborhood group attended a Marion County Board of Zoning Appeals hearing Aug. 16, expecting to remonstrate against a variance petition allowing Kilroy's to provide 46 parking spaces, fewer than the 119 required under city ordinances.

But at the last minute, an attorney for Kilroy's withdrew the variance petition, saying the owner instead planned to rely on a grandfathered 1987 variance for a restaurant called Wharfside that never opened. That variance allowed for 38 parking spaces.

The Kilroy's variance had earned the endorsement of the city's planning staff after the owner agreed to scale back an outdoor seating area from 4,800 square feet to 2,000 square feet, allowing for the preservation of more parking spaces.

The restaurant and bar plans to take the entire 7,750-square-foot building at 831 Broad Ripple Ave., which is now home to a Cardinal Fitness. It would be owned by Paul Murzyn, who also owns the downtown Indianapolis Kilroy's restaurant. The original Kilroy's is in Bloomington.

The last-minute maneuver—and the plans for the bar—don't sit well with the neighborhood group.

"The BRVA is investigating the validity of that 24-year-old variance, as it isn't clear that the 1987 variance would still be applicable today," BRVA Executive Director Sharon Butsch Freeland wrote in an email.

She said the group also plans to challenge the proposed restaurant and bar at a Marion County Alcoholic Beverage Board hearing Sept. 6.

Kilroy's land-use attorney, Matthew Price, a Bingham McHale partner, said he believes people will be more inclined to support the proposal once they know more about it.

"My sense is there's been a bit of a rush to judgment here," Price said. "We see it as very much like the other restaurants in the area that have received the support of the BRVA, like Barley Island and Brothers."

The new Kilroy's will be a nonsmoking facility and offer a full-service lunch and dinner menu similar to the downtown location, he said, unlike some of the restaurant's neighbors, which are "pure bars."

He said the new spot would "play to the nostalgia of the college experience in a more modern, adult interpretation."

He thinks some of the opposition may have less to do with Kilroy's, and more to do with the potential loss of Cardinal Fitness.

The sales pitch didn't sway the BRVA, which voted nearly unanimously to oppose it, said Jim Holland, an attorney in Broad Ripple and chair of the group's land-use and development committee.

The problem, he said, is Kilroy's will bring "more trash, more law enforcement needs, more strain on parking and other infrastructure."

"They're not bringing anything new to the table," Holland said. "Broad Ripple's at a tipping point for liquor licenses. We need retail. That Cardinal Fitness is exactly the kind of operation we need more of."

Luke Bosso, who works out at Cardinal, also doesn't want to see another bar, but not just because the plans would require his gym to shut down.

"I believe competition is a good thing. However, I do appreciate that enough is enough at a certain point," he wrote in an email. "Broad Ripple is not just one road with bars. Broad Ripple is a cultural area that has many other businesses. At some point, we have to understand that we can't keep oversaturating one area of Broad Ripple and continue to think that it will thrive."

A 350-space garage with first-floor retail, planned for the southwest corner of Broad Ripple and College avenues, should alleviate some of the parking pressure.

The city's planning department noted in a report that the new Kilroy's should not change the "intensity of automobile traffic" since most visitors in Broad Ripple "walk to multiple destinations."

"The outdoor seating would be in character with the pedestrian friendly, village atmosphere of the area," the report said.


  • Wandering Drunks
    So your argument is a new bar is going to keep people from wandering the streets? The reason people roam the streets is because they are to drunk to get into other places. Also, it is fair to compare the Kilroy's bloomington's underage problem because they had many more citations than anyone else in Bloomington according to the Indy Star article this year. Also, again when you take on the name you take on the problems. Plus having crowded bars makes more sense than empty ones. Barly Island couldn't survive and they were the same family friendly concept that Kilroy's is supposed to be. I don't understand why people want to have bar after bar that areas struggle. The city is behind Broad Ripple, but it doesn't have to be behind buidling a bar. It's these big bars like Kilroy's and Brothers that are driving the small independently owned businesses off the Ave.
  • too packed
    Broad Ripple is the only bright spot in night life for 20 something's in Indianapolis. If Indianapolis wants to continue to grow it has support things like this. Comparing it Bloomington is unfair because every bar in Bloomington has an underage drinking issue because it is a college town. Kilroy's is just cited more because they are the most popular and own 4 of the bars there now. They often have state excise run the door for them even. If you look at brothers on Friday or Saturday it is too packed to even move and enjoy yourself. More bars like Kilroy's are needed for Broad Ripple so that people are not just drunk wandering the streets because they don't want to wait in line to get into a bar. People don't go to Broad Ripple to go to 1 bar they go for the street. Parking will be bad and not get better or worse regardless of another bar.
    • Cart before the horse
      Of course, the parking garage is a backroom deal. So too will be the development of the permit parking system. The garage operator probably already has an assurance about how the permit system will be implemented, even though such a plan hasn't been vetted by the public, because without the permit system very few people would pay to park in the garage. So, why is the garage a done deal when the permit parking system is not (at least officially and publicly)?

      P.S. I've missed Jack Handy.
    • Open to All
      Just a reminder, the BRVA is open for anyone to join, resident, business, visitor! Etc....

      All of the meetings are open to the general public, including the land-use committee and the board of director meetings.

      If you don't like the actions/ideas/opinions of the BRVA then join, or show-up, and offer your insight.

      The BRVA is a non government organization run and managed by the members.

      They also put on many of the events in the area ALL run by volunteers.

      The Farmers Market, The historic home tour, etc.

      There is much more to the village than bars and restaurants.....but thank goodness they are there too!
    • Owners Situation
      I understand that Kilroy's Indy is owned by a different group then Bloomington. I also understand that bringing up Kilroys along with a missing girl is bad taste, but the reason why they bought the name was to have the name recognition. With that comes the good and bad. A majority of the people don't care or know who bar owners are but they do know the name Kilroy's. When you buy a franchise you open Pandora's box. So the fact that Kilroy's B-town has been hit with so many underage citations it reflects Kilroy's Indy. Because in some cases it will be the same kids from IU going to both Kilroy's. So the fact they have a differnt owner holds no standing with me because they want the exact same thing as Kilroy's downtown.
    • Jack Handy
      Kilroys isnt buying the building. Cardinal still has 3 years left on their lease. They are just taking over it. Again, I think people need to realize Broad Ripple is much more than 1 road. The Avg median age is 40 years old in Broad Ripple and adding "another college experience" isn't what this community needs. Go to Indy Kilroy's on a Saturday night and see what type of crowd they have after 12 it is packed. This is a college bar.
    • Thoughts
      Kilroys is not taking a business out of Broad Ripple; the building owner had been trying to sell the building for the last few years with a short term Cardinal lease. Cardinal will be moving downtown. LA did hurt it badly.

      Kilroys will further decimate the retail potential at the corner of College and BR Ave. The Parking garage is in a horrendous location as well. What are the odds Sensu, Detour and some other hokey chain goes in the first floor? Only other thing I can imagine is Walgreens or a Regions Bank.

      Ingress/Egress is 100 feet from one of the busiest intersections in town. Have fun getting in and out and sitting in worse gridlock here. If they wanted a gateway they could have easily donated funds from the big sale for a bigger signs that already exist.

      As Teddy R says "respect the man in the arena", but this project was done outside the arena and in the back rooms.
    • Great Addition
      Naysayers be damned. Kilroys in Broad Ripple sounds ideal!

      Parking concerns are negated by the new Parking Garage in the works. It's a perfect fit for Broad Ripple.

      Don't let the voice of few ruin a good idea for the rest.
    • Beer Bottles
      I am undecided on whether Kilroy's would be a good addition to the neighborhood, but one thing I am sure about is the source of beer bottles and trash following each weekend. I live a couple blocks from BR Ave and have bar-goers parking in front of my house each weekend, leaving behind the pre-party beer bottles they bring along with them, along with liquor bottles, fast food bags, etc. These are not coming from my neighbors or from any parties we host.

      Yes, it is a nuisance to go out each Sunday and collect trash left behind, but one that I take as coming with the territory. But would I want MORE trash strewn about? No.

      Regardless of whether Kilroy's is a good idea or not, the majority of the trash (bottles, etc) found in BR after a weekend are from those driving with it into the village, looking to get their night started earlier and more cheaply than at the bars.
    • Permit Residential Streets?
      Cory, what do you know about the permitting of the residential streets? Is this actually going to happen as park of the garage project?
    • Barley island
      Why doesn't Kilroys go into Barley Island instead iof taking a business out of broad ripple? I think that would solve all the problems and make the most sense.
    • Bring on Kilroy's
      To start the earlier comment about Bloomington is just immature. Grow up. Kilroy's downtown is a well run, respected business. How many fellow Ripple residents have been there? The food is great. It is always very clean. The staff has always been very professional. Broad Ripple should welcome them with open arms. The BRVA and residents should pay more attention to the nuisances that already exist. Where are all of you when they have hearings about renewals? Where are your comments at the BRVA meetings? Stop fighting something good for the community and stand up and against the bad. I can't wait to finally have a great place to watch Colts games and enjoy and contribute to a professional business. See you soon Kilroy's.......
    • Parking Garage
      Poeple keep stating this garage will make up for the spots needed for Kilroy's. The garage is to give back a portion of the 750 spots in front of homes in the neighborhood taken by bar goers. These will become permit only spots once the garage is completed. And with only 350 spots it doesn't increase the nuber of spots available to them.
    • beer bottle bandits...
      The beer bottles that are found on the streets and and yards are most likely NOT coming from the bars and restaurants in the area. That trash is coming from the people who live in the area and hosting house parties. You see, in a well-run establishment security does not let anyone leave with any kind of drink in their hands, not even a plastic cup of water. Therefore, the idea that people are leaving bars with pockets full of beer bottles to throw into someone's yard is just silly. As for the trash situation, I have no clue what's going on there. Maybe people are driving around the area throwing trash out of their cars because they are so upset there is no parking. Maybe they missed trash day and are trying get rid of it. Maybe they are doing many things, but the one thing they are NOT doing is walking out of a bar or restaurant with a big bag of that place's trash and throwing it into yards.
    • You are what you are...
      BRVA is off their rocker. The Broad Ripple business district is primarily based on bars and restaurants. They should just accept that. If they want to do something to better Broad Ripple then try to find someone to take over those horrible looking storefronts where Pacos Cantina used to be. It looks like an industrial arts project with aluminum gone horribly wrong. I do think BRVA should make sure that businesses going in try to maintain at least some quality control for the way they look...but being in a bar district and wanting to be something else is just silly. Look at Brothers for example...I've never been in there but it sure does look a lot better on that corner than that horrid trophy shop used to with not windows and the cement walls. That's the type of change they should be looking for regardless of the kind of business. Try to hold new businesses in BR to a reasonable design standard to upgrade the look of the area. I've been to a lot of Broad Ripple type of areas all around the US and I hate to admit it but Broad Ripple looks pretty shabby compared to many similar areas in other cities.
    • I live in Broad Ripple
      I have lived in Broad Ripple for only about 12 years now and I avoid the place on weekends. There is NO place to park without spending $5 and the over-indulged pretty much ruin the atmosphere for anyone who is not one of that crowd. When I walk anywhere in the neighborhood after a weekend, I find trash, beer bottles, cans and gang graffiti on signs. One of my neighbors was awakened at 4 am on a recent Sunday morning/Saturday night by a drunk male who had broken into her house thinking it was where he was supposed to be, and that is a good 10 blocks or more from the strip. After she chased the guy out of her house with a club, he was found wandering the neighborhood looking for his shoes. The cops put him in a cab and sent him away. He may have not been so lucky had he come into my house. So, that being said, Broad Ripple, my home, has lost my business on weekends due to to preponderance of inebriated visitors in the area. Another bar will only exacerbate the problem.
    • Smoke-free
      The more smoke free bars, the better!
    • Know your facts
      Indy Kilroys is NOT affiliated with the Bloomington store. Owned by two separate groups. Same name, same breadstick, different owners. Check your facts before you start pointing fingers.
    • not related
      The Kilroy's in Indy has different owners, managers, etc. And I wouldn't blame a bar for the sad choices of those that occurred in Bloomington. That sort of thing can happen at any bar, sadly. Even those that go through extreme measures to monitor underage drinking. I'm a waitress and have been through training classes for this and have still been fooled.
    • Variances are a like a diamond
      They are forever. That's what's so great about a variance, unless you think the government should be able to change the laws to adjust to changes in societal norms, neighborhood and economic development patterns, etc.

      The government can change your zoning district. The government can rewrite the zoning ordinance. But a variance approval lives on in perpetuity. If they follow the plans that were approved with the variance, it could have been from 124 years ago. They should be golden.
    • will be ok
      This stretch of BR avenue is for bars & clubs...there is no saturation there. The more you build, the more people will come. I always use the diamond district in NYC as an example. There is thousands of jewelers in a few blocks, and you would think it would be hard do succeed with that much competition, but everyone benefits because they attract more people that way. Anyway, BR will not lose its charm because of this bar. And the recent developments like Thr3e wise men and 10-01 show that we can extend the entertainment district further east.
    • Retract
      I retract the statement about LA Fitness. I hadn't read any other articles or clarifications that said they didn't buy it. Sorry. However, the fact that they weren't bought out is even worse. If you want Cardinal to stay get a membership and support them, make the location worth their money. Otherwise, let a more profitable business come in.
    • Respect is critical
      If bars/restaurants showed more respect to the neighborhood associations they would get further with less opposition. Kilroy's should have had a special meeting w/BRVA exclusively to present their plans and listen to all their criticisms and requests. Make compromises that suit all parties THEN go for the variance. I doubt a 24 year old variance will hold up...shady move if it does - again show some respect!
    • golden goose??

      The bars and restaurants of Broad Ripple ARE the golden goose!! Take those away and see what you are left with.
    • Keep Broad Ripple unique
      Broad Ripple was not named a cultural district so it could become clogged with chain restaurants and trash-throwing frat/sor children. Let that happen Downtown. Let's manage development so it is in keeping with the quirkiness that we all admired when we as a city first called attention to this special neighborhood. I don't know anything about Kilroys' petition so cannot comment specifically on the variance issue, but if we allow unrestrained capitalism we will kill the golden goose that is Broad Ripple.
    • Robin, Where Have You Been?
      They ARE building a new parking garage. Not at the Cardinal Fitness site, but on the Marcos/Marathon lot. The garage is mentioned in this very article... (hint: 3rd to last sentence)
      • Parking Parking Parking
        Broad Ripple at this time has a shortage of parking spaces for the existing businesses. I have to agree with the BRVA.How about the city coughing up some money to build a parking garage on the existing sight of Cardinal Fitness, so that the small businesses in Broad Ripple will be more successful. When the city closed the surface parking behind the fire station this left some businesses in the lurch. Others have made unbelievable amounts of money by charging $5 or more for parking. This has also hurt these businesses.
      • Clarification
        Just to clarify based on information I've heard and other posts on this topic- LA Fitness did not buy Cardinal Fitness to close them down. If the Kilroys does not go in, Cardinal will remain in the location. The argument that Cardinal is leaving anyway so Kilroys might as well move in does not hold water.
      • Survival of the Fittest
        Oversaturation is not the issue here. If/when Kilroy's opens, more patrons will go there instead of the other "bars" they are going to currently. Prime space is about to open up where Mine Shaft and/or Rock Lobster currently are, so put your gym or hipster shop in there. I'll be the first to visit. Same thing with Barley Island - the food was terrible and there wasn't enough seating to pay the rent. Hence, it is gone and another venue will soon take its place.

        The argument that putting another bar in BR will not allow the area to thrive is also moot. Do you think the surf shop across the street or the new Kilroy's will contribute more tax dollars? I'm the Surf Shop's biggest customer, and I'll spend 3x the amount of money at Kilroy's.
      • What's The Problem?
        I agree with PJ. I live in Broad Ripple and I don't understand what BRVA's problem with this particular restaurant it. The market doesn't seem to be oversaturated, there are lines to get into every establishment at night on the weekend. Let the market decide if an additional bar can be profitable. It's not like it's a national chain or anything, it's locally owned. Seems like a perfect fit for the Cardinal Fitness location.
      • So PJ should they just rubber stamp everything?
        Who is PJ to say that we should rubber stamp everything? BR will just then be Casleton.....
      • Under aged drinking
        So will this Kilroy's be better at monitoring under aged drinking than Bloomington?? Or will under aged blond girls disappear after a night of drinking at Kilroy's Broad Ripple like in Bloomington? Just a thought!?
        • Free Market
          Who is BRVA to say who can and cannot come to the area? This is a free market economy, if a restaurant/bar is supported by the economy, then let it be. If the argument is about loss of parking, get over it and move to the suburbs if you want your cars. If the argument is the loss of Cardinal Fitness, get over it, they're gone. LA bought them to close them down. Kilroys will be a much better fit for that location anyhow.

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