The Monroe County Alcohol and Tobacco Commission voted 2-1 this morning, to permit Kilroys on Kirkwood to continue to serve alcohol.
Kilroys’ alcohol permit was originally scheduled to be automatically renewed by the board two months ago, but concerned residents asked the Monroe County board to reconsider that approval. Remonstrators argued against the automatic approval, objecting to Kilroys’ business practices and social media management.
City of Bloomington Director of Public Engagement Mary Catherine Carmichael spoke at the board’s meeting this morning, as a private citizen. Carmichael says over a dozen community members showed up at this morning’s meeting to advocate on behalf of the bar. She says for all the promises she’s seen the bar make, they’ve yet to really show their commitment to being a better actor in the community.
The Kilroys franchise was the subject of community controversy twice last summer, after Kilroys Recess tweeted at billionaire Mark Cuban, “come check out your old place, we got rid of the wet t-shirt contests, but kept the underage girls.” Kilroys on Kirkwood faced criticism for a sign during last year’s eclipse that read, “the sun is blacking out, so should you.”
Local attorney Katherine Liell, who sits on the commission, says due to a lack of Excise Police violations, the board had to consider three factors in the permit renewal process: the moral character of the owners, whether criminal acts have been carried out on the premises, and whether or not the business constitutes a ‘moral nuisance.’
Liell says the board expressed concerns about the binge drinking culture promoted by Kilroys on Kirkwood, but were hopeful of measures Kilroys said it will take to train bartenders not to over-serve customers. WFIU manager Perry Metz stepped down from the commission after nearly a decade on the board, earlier this year.