By Sam Elliott
As many as four additional bars or restaurants could make their way to the downtown Fishers area due to the city acquiring four new three-way alcohol special permits — which allow for serving beer, wine and liquor — from the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission through the General Assembly.
City Attorney Chris Greisl — who negotiated for the special permits with Deputy Mayor Leah McGrath on the city’s behalf — briefed the Fishers City Council on the new permits at its June 20 meeting, during which the council approved a method by which the permits would be granted.
“The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission issues alcohol permits based on a quota system. One permit is issued for roughly every 1,500 people in the population,” Greisl said. “Due to this quota system, growing communities like Fishers have experienced shortages in their permits and our greatest effect is obviously felt with economic development.”
Greisl thanked District 37 State Representative Todd Huston for his work spearheading a bill that was adopted by the Indiana General Assembly in March and went into effect July 1.
“This act allows the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission to issue four new three-way permits in Fishers to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premise consumption without regarding the quota provisions,” Greisl said.
The permits must be used within the city’s downtown district and, unlike typical permits from the ATC, cannot be transferred from the premise for which they’re issued, will be sold for $40,000 rather than auctioned off to the highest bidder and permit applicants will have to enter into a written agreement with the city, which must be approved by the city council, regarding the business looking to use the permit.
The city currently has approximately 50 businesses with active alcohol permits. Greisl said negotiations began with seeking 10 additional special permits, but that the city’s ongoing special partial census numbers will add to Fishers’ number of permits based on the ATC’s regular quota process.