Carmel reaches agreement allowing GOAT tavern to open at night

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Carmel government leaders said Thursday that they and the GOAT tavern have reached an agreement to allow the establishment to operate under limited conditions through February.

The GOAT, which stands for the Greatest of All Taverns, opened in mid-August at 220 Second St. S.W. That’s the former Bub’s Cafe, which closed in October 2019 after 12 years of operations.

City officials said Tuesday that they would begin enforcing regulations already in place because tavern drew attention from neighbors for improper operations. That change forced the GOAT to change its hours to 11 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.

A news release issued Thursday by the city government said a use variance will be considered Feb. 25 for the tavern. Until then, these are among limits the GOAT must follow:

  • Hours of operation will be 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday.
  • All food and beverage service will end one hour prior to closing.
  • Noise levels will be at or below 50 decibels.
  • No live music.
  • The “Sandlot” outdoor area, including the firepit, will be closed unless use of that area is approved as part of the use variance.
  • The building will have only one entrance.
  • A full-time bouncer will be employed.
  • Ride-sharing activities will be done from a point near Midtown Garage.
  • A water hose to be used on a regular basis to clean outside of premises and surrounding area.
  • “Operator will control the entrance, and exits of the premises to ensure all employees and patrons are using only public streets, sidewalks, paths and the Monon Greenway and not accessing through private residences.” If needed, private security can be hired to ensure compliance.

The release said, “The owners of the GOAT have agreed that their strict compliance with the requirements included in the agreement is required to remain open. If there is a failure to comply with the requirements, the venue will have 24 hours to make changes necessary. If those changes are not accomplished in that time period, then DOCS can require that the GOAT cease operations immediately.”

The city also said it will go to the courts if needed to maintain the limits.

Mayor Jim Brainard issued this statement: “We are pleased that the owners of the GOAT have agreed to these critical steps to take control of the activities at their venue. This will also give them the opportunity to show their commitment to be better neighbors and that they can coexist in this vibrant area of our city prior to the final vote on the variance in early 2021. We appreciate the input and patience of those who have expressed concerns and hope that they see an immediate difference.”