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Owners of Carmel tavern go to court to seek reversal in ongoing zoning battle

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — The owners of a Carmel restaurant and tavern have filed a petition requesting a Hamilton Superior court reverse the Carmel Board of Zoning Appeals’ decision to shutter the business at its current downtown location.

The GOAT Restaurant & Tavern has faced scrutiny since its opening at 220 Second St. S.W. last summer. That’s the former Bub’s Cafe, which closed in October 2019 after 12 years of operations.

The GOAT, which stands for the Greatest of All Taverns, was forced to change its operating hours to 11 a.m.-2 p.m. daily in December after the tavern drew attention from neighbors for improper operations. A spokesman for the GOAT said it did not agree to those operating hours.

The city of Carmel in December said the GOAT would have to either get an additional variance or a zoning change approved if it wanted to stay open later than 2 p.m.

A use variance for the business was denied in April, and the tavern was forced to close.

“All we want is to operate our family’s business under the same rules as everyone else in Midtown Plaza, including our neighboring restaurants and taverns,” said Kevin Paul, co-owner of the GOAT. “Legal action is the last thing we prefer, but until this is resolved, our doors are closed and nearly 30 people are wondering how they will support themselves and their families.”

Kevin and Megan Paul own several other businesses, including Carmel’s Blue Horseshoe, Brockway Public House and Danny Boy Beerworks. More than 300 employees work at these establishments, according to a press release sent to News 8.

Several other community members, including Carmel City Councilor Sue Finkam, have expressed their support for the Paul family and the GOAT.

“Kevin and Megan are longtime Carmel residents and business owners, dedicating significant time and resources to growing and improving our city,” said Finkam in a release sent to News 8 on Thursday. “They have proven to be collaborative and thoughtful neighbors. Midtown has quickly become an area beloved by residents and visitors. I hope all parties involved can find a reasonable solution that does not diminish the value or the personality of this important part of our city.”

Kevin Paul said he’s hoping the matter of zoning for his Midtown business will be resolved soon.

“Carmel is our forever home. It’s where we raise our kids and dedicate our lives’ passions,” he said. “We love this community and are proud to be part of its heartbeat.”

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