It’s good news for the Bulldog Saloon in Mentone where a meeting among state officials Tuesday seemed to bring a move toward a mutual resolution that will allow the bar to stay in operation.
Tim Carter owns the Bulldog Saloon at 101 E. Main St., Mentone, and, as StaceyPageOnline.com first reported, he was worried that state regulations would force him to close his doors after 7 years in business. (See original story).
Today, with local State Reps. Rebecca Kubacki, David Wolkins and Tim Harman, Carter met at the Mentone saloon with Indiana Fire Marshal James Greeson and inspectors with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Fire and Building Safety division. “They were really bending over backward to help us out,” Carter told StaceyPageOnline.com following today’s meeting, which was not open to the public.
That announcement was far different than what Carter said he was dealing with just a few weeks ago.
Carter had been visited by Ed Sorensen, an inspector of IDHS, three times over an 8-week period which started in May. Each time, the saloon not only faced new violations, but after 4 years in operation in the former Pill Box Pharmacy building, Carter said he was told to produce architectural plans for the building or likely have to close the doors.
“If we would have stayed in the old building (adjoined to the current location by an interior door), we would have been fine,” said Beth Thompson, Carter’s daughter and the manager of the Bulldog Saloon. “It doesn’t make sense because it’s the same building under the same roof, but (the adjoining side) is grandfathered.”
Carter’s fears were also founded in the fact that he was being told to install a sprinkler system and build handicap accessible restrooms. “A sprinkler system alone would be about $25,000,” said Carter, who has already paid $2,500 to have an architectural firm draw up a preliminary evaluation in response to initial orders from the state. He said any major changes or additions to the building would be impossible for a small business to afford.
But fortunately for Carter, the result of Tuesday’s meeting seemed positive. “They are doing all they can to help now. They’re even going to help Tim (Croy) become a certified building inspector,” he said. Croy serves as the town’s building inspector and granted the Bulldog Saloon building permits when it moved to the current location.
Carter said Don LeBrun, Sorensen’s supervisor, is planning to come to the business next week to “re-evaluate things and work with us. There still may be a few changes necessary, but now they’re saying some variances may be possible.” Carter added, “It’s been the publicity that has helped and the involvement of our state representatives.”