Give Now  »

wfiu logo
WFIU Public Radio

wtiu logo
WTIU Public Television

Choose which station to support!

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

News Contact IPM News Indiana Public Media News

{ "banners": { "tv" : [ {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/2-28-countrymusic_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1582866000000", "endingDate" : "1582952340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/2-29-doowop_glencampbell_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1582952400000", "endingDate" : "1583038740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-01-celticwoman_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583038800000", "endingDate" : "1583125140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-02-and-3-13-suzeorman_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583125200000", "endingDate" : "1583211540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-03-erniepyle_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583211600000", "endingDate" : "1583297940000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-04-michaelbuble_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583298000000", "endingDate" : "1583384340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-05-brainfitness_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583384400000", "endingDate" : "1583470740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-06-riseup_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583470800000", "endingDate" : "1583557140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-07-pinkfloyd_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583557200000", "endingDate" : "1583643540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-08-juliachild_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583643600000", "endingDate" : "1583726340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-09-joebonamassa_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583726400000", "endingDate" : "1583812740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-10-britfloyd_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583812800000", "endingDate" : "1583899140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-11-hallandoates_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583899200000", "endingDate" : "1583985540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-12-agingbackwards_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583985600000", "endingDate" : "1584071940000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-02-and-3-13-suzeorman_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1584072000000", "endingDate" : "1584158340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYuMn%2bAFYFwp%2bq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-14-changeyourbrain_webbanner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1584158400000", "endingDate" : "1584331140000"} ], "radio" : [ {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUCHALBN&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=HrWnk%2fLUFYkZ0HVnlXFne71YhDw50SikSh2nq0qouhg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/iu-bicentennial-banner.jpg", "startingDate" : "1579124100000", "endingDate" : "1579582740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDBNR&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flgkr2wNtsqwhq1gzMC6uhq5nDjkJobrCdg%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/wfiu_springfunddrive_newsphoto_2020_webbanner_1920x240.jpg", "startingDate" : "1585044000000", "endingDate" : "1587787140000"} ] }}
{ "lightboxes": { "tv" : [ {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/2-28-countrymusic-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1582866000000", "endingDate" : "1582952340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/2-29-doowop_glencampbell-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "${child.textValue}", "endingDate" : "${child.textValue}"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-1-celticwoman-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "${child.textValue}", "endingDate" : "${child.textValue}"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-2-and-3-13-suzeorman-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583125200000", "endingDate" : "1583211540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-3-erniepyle-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583211600000", "endingDate" : "1583297940000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-4-michaelbuble_lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583298000000", "endingDate" : "1583384340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-5-brainfitness-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583384400000", "endingDate" : "1583470740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-6-riseup-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583470800000", "endingDate" : "1583557140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-7-pinkfloyd-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583557200000", "endingDate" : "1583643540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-8-juliachild-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583643600000", "endingDate" : "1583726340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-9-joebonamassa_lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583726400000", "endingDate" : "1583812740000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-10-britfloyd-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583812800000", "endingDate" : "1583899140000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-11-hallandoates_lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583899200000", "endingDate" : "1583985540000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-12-agingbackwards-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1583985600000", "endingDate" : "1584071940000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-2-and-3-13-suzeorman-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1584072000000", "endingDate" : "1584158340000"} , {"url" : "https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WTIUMCLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=2T6mTyo6yYtDgsQprWuZNm3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/3-14-changeyourbrain-lightbox.jpg", "startingDate" : "1584158400000", "endingDate" : "1584331140000"} ], "radio" : [ {"url" : " https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flizvLEFSbjC6m3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/wfiu_springfunddrive_newsphoto_2020_lightbox_720x480.jpg", "startingDate" : "1585044000000", "endingDate" : "1585108740000"} , {"url" : " https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flizvLEFSbjC6m3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/wfiu_springfunddrive_newsphoto_2020_lightbox_720x480.jpg", "startingDate" : "1585303200000", "endingDate" : "1585367940000"} , {"url" : " https://support.indianapublicmedia.org/alleg/WebModule/Donate.aspx?P=WFIUFDLB&PAGETYPE=PLG&CHECK=tAXekcDG%2flizvLEFSbjC6m3L5BYddGq6PVAl6UEf65g%3d", "img" : "https://indianapublicmedia.org/images/banner-images/wfiu_springfunddrive_newsphoto_2020_lightbox_720x480.jpg", "startingDate" : "1585562400000", "endingDate" : "1585627140000"} ] }}
{ "item" : [ {"label" : "t", "mp3" : "as", "startingDate" : "1568692800000", "endingDate" : "1569124800000"} , {"label" : "h", "mp3" : "k", "startingDate" : "1568001600000", "endingDate" : "1568433600000"} ] }

No Booze At The Inn: Why Doesn't The Graduate Hotel Have A Liquor License?

The sign on the outside of the Graduate Hotel in Bloomington.

The Graduate Hotel is located too closely to two churches -- within 200 feet -- to get a liquor license without written permission from the churches' leadership. (Emma Atkinson, WFIU/WTIU News)

Plans for the Graduate Hotel on Kirkwood Avenue led to a lot of questions and concerns.

How tall would it be? Where would its customers park? What would it do to the character of Bloomington’s most eclectic street?

Public boards addressed issues of height and parking. The question about whether it fits in to the character of Kirkwood? It depends who you ask.

But there was another issue a listener asked City Limits to explore: Why doesn’t the hotel have a liquor license?

Marc Carmichael is the president of the Indiana Beverage Alliance and the author of a book on Indiana’s liquor laws. He says the answer starts with Indiana’s early lawmakers.

“Our history has been very conservative politically as well as a public policy standpoint – and that applied to early alcohol laws which were designed to limit the amount of alcohol that was available and consumed,” he said.

In this case, the limit was guaranteed by the Graduate’s location – it was too close to two churches, First Christian Church and First United Methodist Church.

A graphic showing the approximate distance between the Graduate Hotel and and two downtown Bloomington churches.
(Courtesy Google Maps, Graphic by Emma Atkinson)

Carmichael noted that Indiana had a law on the books for decades that stated no establishment could get a liquor permit if it was within 200 feet of a church or a school.

In 2015, lawmakers amended the law to say that as of 2016, liquor licenses could be secured if leaders of churches within the restricted area wrote letters to the State Alcoholic Beverage Commission stating they don’t object.

Leaders of neither of the nearby churches wrote such letters.

The Graduate retooled its plans to go without alcohol, adding hotel rooms and sticking with its design theme that pays tribute to Indiana University. But it scrapped a rooftop bar.

A photo of the menu at the Graduate Hotel's Poindexter Cafe.
The Graduate's Poindexter Cafe serves food and drink -- but no alcohol. (Joe Hren, WFIU/WTIU News)

Those plans could change again if letters of support were written to the state commission’s satisfaction. If it were to happen, an application would go to the Monroe County Alcohol Beverage Board.

Karen Howe Fernandez, the board’s president, said the state commission would put the application on the local board’s agenda if it received those letters. Then the local board would discuss the request.

“It’s at the local level that the community gets to weigh in as well,” she said.

She says those who object could bring their concerns to the local board. State law says the local board could deny an application if opponents show the applicant doesn’t maintain “a high and fine reputation in the community”; or that there is no need for the services of the applicant at the proposed location; or that the neighborhood and/or the community don’t want the services; or that the services at the proposed location would have a negative impact on other business or the neighborhood in general.

But, she says, the local board’s decision is just a recommendation to the state commission.

“If we say yes, it goes and it’s pretty much through,” she said. “If we say no, they can appeal to the State Commission.”

The state could then uphold the appeal and grant the liquor license over the local board’s recommendation.

Not serving alcohol is unique for the Graduate chain, which has opened hotels in about two dozen other communities and plans to open more. All are in communities with major universities, including the Big Ten cities of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; Iowa City, Iowa; Lincoln, Nebraska, Madison, Wisconsin, and State College, Pennsylvania. According to the Graduate Hotels web site, all of its other properties serve alcohol in restaurants, bars or cafes.

We don’t know whether any of those locations are close to churches or schools, but Carmichael says that might very well be irrelevant because liquor laws would be different.

“People tend to assume that all states are alike,” he said, “and the truth is, in 50 states there are 50 completely different approaches to alcohol.”

RELATED STORY: Warm Water And Cold Beer: Inside Indiana's Weird Liquor Store Laws

He says each state’s alcohol laws reflect the will of lawmakers’ constituents. In Indiana, the will of constituents on laws such as the 200-foot limit was to control alcohol sales.

“This was set up by conservative legislators trying to protect their schools and their churches from demon rum,” he said, noting the arbitrary nature of the 200-foot limit. “For some reason, they decided 200 feet was the magic number. If it was 205 feet, it’s OK. If it’s 195 feet, it’s not. So why? I wasn’t there.”

With the 2016 change in the law, he said, the state is working its way around that restriction without throwing it out completely.

It’s not clear if the Graduate will switch course and serve alcohol.

A spokeswoman at the hotel group’s main office said she and other Graduate officials would make no comment at this time. Pastor Helen Hempfling at First Christian Church also said she didn’t have a comment, and we got the same response from a spokeswoman for First United Methodist Church Lead Pastor Lisa Shubert Nowling.

Have a question? Ask City Limits:

Our community is changing, from closing businesses to traffic and road construction to affordable housing, and we see the impact of these changes all around us.

We want to know: What questions do you have about how the Bloomington of tomorrow will impact your work, your personal life, your community and your future?

Here’s how it works: You submit a question you’d like us to explore about how Bloomington has changed over the past few decades, what you want to see for the city in the future and how ties with IU continue to shape the community.  

So: What do you wonder about how Bloomington is changing and how it impacts your life?

Interested in an ongoing conversation how Bloomington is changing? Join our Facebook group!

 

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

Find Us on Facebook

Recent Business and Economy Stories