Liquor board OKs permit for City Market beer sales

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A local liquor board cleared the way Tuesday for the Indianapolis City Market to begin selling beer there later this fall.

The three-member Marion County Alcoholic Beverage Board voted unanimously to approve a carryout liquor license for the historic downtown site. The permit will allow the Indiana Brewers Guild to open a bar at the market featuring local craft beers to drink on-site and for take-out.

Jim Reilly, the market’s executive director, said market officials are still negotiating with the guild and hope to reach a final agreement in the next two weeks. The goal is to open the bar by mid-November.

Offering beer is the latest major attempt by city officials to make the market—now mostly a lunchtime spot for nearby office workers—financially viable. The market has struggled for years to break even and gets by now only with the help of city subsidies.

“It’s our feeling that by serving Indiana craft beer in the market we could greatly reduce ---if not eliminate entirely-- the city subsidies to the market,” Reilly said during the hearing.

Earlier this year, leaders announced a wave of renovations to the market, including tearing down the west wing and adding restrooms and elevators. They also plan to convert the east wing into a hub where bicyclists can shower and store their belongings. Renovations are expected to begin in November.

Reilly and others hope those changes—and, in particular, selling beer—will draw more people to the venue throughout the day and in evening hours.

The bar would be open 8 p.m. or later Wednesday through Saturday. The hope is that other vendors, which typically close by mid-afternoon, also would remain open later with customers flowing into the market during the evening.



  • Pointless
    The "City Market" is a pointles waste of money. I would much rather drive or walk to Penn Station or any other restaurant, than to dine at the over crowded market. Every piece of scum that refuses to get a job is there throughout the day and the vendors have vastly over priced goods (I use the term "goods" very loosely). The city would make more money off of this area if they demolished the place and invested in another parking garage. The city of Indianapolis is a degenerated place and in my opnion should be shut down completely and flattened into farm land.
  • Hours of operation
    Firewoman - I believe the article means to state that the bar will be open UNTIL 8pm or later, not open at 8pm.

    I'll be curious to see what this does to Sun King's popular tasting room. We all need to start drinking more beer!
    Easy Francis.
  • Unbelievable
    Let's see 90% of Restaurants and Bars fail... unless they are getting FREE rent it will not make it. Govt needs to get out of that black hole. Let's see the Athenaeum Beer Garden is up the Street, McNevins on Mass, Scotty's on Delaware... What brain trust did this Market Research...Open 5 days a week with minimal hours and Reilly indicates this is the savior ... If they could not keep Constantino's or because of their arrogance chose not too... This is doomed... Cannot beleive the taxpayers pay Reily's salary... A real creative thinker... Let the private market determine the value for that building and get it off the taxpayers backs... Besides it looks great next to a MASSIVE GRAVEL LOT... The Market will only work if the City has the courage to redevelop the Market Street Corridor with a new Govt Center and dump the old city county building, move some govt offices out to the North, East, South and West sides. Think about the State Government Centre... I find it hard to believe this Mayor was in the Marines... FAIL TO PLAN... PLAN TO FAIL...
    • Anything to salvage the market
      I live downtown, yet I have never been to the City Market. I believe by extending the hours and broadening the targeted group of customers, the Market will definately thrive and flourish. Btw, this was an excellent article. IBJ, you are pretty darn smart for hiring this person.
    • Maybe
      Maybe if they didn't hike the parking rates and extend the paying period for street parking I might do to the market after work.

    • Try, try again.
      The market could be a real jem of a desitnation but instead its treated like a rock. New paint every 10 years isnt a plan to get more people to go and USE what the market has to offer. How many grocery stores with fresh produce are directly downtown? 2. AND theres parking on the same block. Seems like you have an available space with a built in use but no one with the work ethic to get in there and sweat, like me, commenting on this.
    • Great idea but...
      How about opening the bar at 5pm??? You get off work and want to meet people or grab a beer after work, not like 3 hours later!
    • Hours of Operation
      I think the market would have a better chance at survival if the business hours were extended into the weekend and later in the evening. I have never been because I do not work downtown and can't get off work during the day to go.

      I am also a big fan of the market bar! If anything will draw revenue, it has to be beer.
    • Anything to salvage the Market
      I'm excited about the proposed changes at the Market. It's a shame that a city as vibrant as Indy can't support our City Market. Philly's is thriving. Maybe ours can, too, some day.
    • Anything to salvage the Market
      I'm excited about the proposed changes at the Market. It's a shame that a city as vibrant as Indy can't support our City Market. Philly's is thriving. Maybe ours can, too, some day.

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      1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

      2. If you only knew....

      3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

      4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

      5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.