Westfield, Hamilton County municipalities acquire more alcoholic beverage permits after petitioning state legislator


By Anna Skinner

Normally, alcoholic beverage permits are given to cities based on population numbers, or businesses can purchase alcohol permits from existing businesses that already own them. However, with Westfield’s growing economic development, various municipalities in Hamilton and Boone counties petitioned to a state legislator for additional alcoholic beverage permits.

Westfield received four additional permits, one of which has already been granted to Grand Park.

“So as not to stifle new economic development, the state authorized making additional (permits) available,” Director of Economic and Community Development Matt Skelton said. “The municipalities in Hamilton County got together and talked to legislators and asked that they consider providing us with an accommodation.”

Westfield also recently completed a special census for various funding reasons, and those numbers should return to the city within the month. With those updated numbers, it is possible Westfield will receive additional alcoholic beverage permits, as well.

“Westfield’s argument for additional licenses was a significant number of people our establishments serve don’t live in our census tracks,” Skelton said. “So, for that reason, it just provided a good rationale for granting additional ones.”

Establishments are required to fill out an elaborate application for alcoholic beverage permits, and each permit costs $40,000. The permit review committee – Skelton, Mark Keen and Bob Smith – send a recommendation to the state, which then decides whether or not to assign the permit.

Grand Park was recently granted a permit, allowing for Jonathan Byrd’s to sell alcoholic beverages, as well as the concession stands around the park for select events.

“It’s not going to be very common because most of these are kid sports,” Skelton said of concession stands selling alcohol at Grand Park’s fields. “There may be some college stuff that would and the Indy Eleven plays out there … but it is a small fraction of the time (that alcohol will be sold at concession stands).”

In addition to Grand Park, a pending restaurant in downtown Westfield also has submitted an application.

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