The city of Carmel announced Tuesday that it will now enforce a previously overlooked zoning variance that prohibits The GOAT bar and restaurant from operating after 2 p.m., a move that comes after months of complaints about noise and public indecency at and around the tavern.
When The GOAT opened in the former Bub’s Café at 220 2nd St. SW in August, it replaced a restaurant that had long-catered to breakfast and lunch crowds. Bub’s was granted special zoning in 2007 for the restaurant to locate in what was then a largely residential area. The variance, which allowed the restaurant to operate until 2 p.m. daily, transferred to the The GOAT when it moved into the property.
But Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said during a Monday city council meeting that city staff had overlooked the requirement when The GOAT first opened. And as a result, The GOAT “was inadvertently allowed to operate with a closing time of 3 a.m.,” the city said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
The tavern has since upset neighbors with its late-night noise and unruly patrons, so much so that the city council approved new public urination and defecation fines Monday night to start addressing the issue. Now, city staff said it will enforce the previously overlooked requirement that any restaurant on the property close each day by 2 pm.
“Continued complaints from neighbors and businesses about how the venue was operating made it clear that the current variance had to be enforced,” the city said in a statement. “Until now, it was hoped that operations at the GOAT could continue while the request for a change in zoning went through the proper process but based on the continued and numerous complaints and the number of police calls, that is no longer possible.”
The GOAT is owned by Kevin and Megan Paul, who also own the Brockway Pub and Danny Boy Beer Works in Carmel. Kevin Paul told IBJ that the tavern’s hours have been 3 p.m. to 1 a.m., but for now, it will open for lunch only. He did not provide details.
The Pauls have built a fence between their property and an adjacent neighborhood, Brainard told the council on Monday night, and are committed to hiring plainclothes security to patrol the area. Brainard also adi the owners are planning to build additional restrooms to accommodate demand.
The council is set to review a proposed noise ordinance and a potential rezone of the property to allow The GOAT to continue as a traditional bar, but the tavern won’t be able to serve its late-night clientele until new zoning is approved.
However, council member Adam Aasen said Monday night that he’s not in favor of a rezoning because he doesn’t think the owners have shown a willingness to make changes to reduce complaints.