Businesses gearing up for another busy weekend downtown as tournament enters Sweet 16

The Daily Reformer

INDIANAPOLIS — It has been a busy few weeks here in the Circle City and things are not slowing down this weekend in the NCAA Tournament.

Hotel, restaurant and bar owners say they are gearing up for another packed weekend with the Sweet 16 kicking off Saturday.

They say they have learned a few lessons after the first influx of fans.

The new Bottleworks District was cited after photos emerged of unmasked fans and people tightly packed together. Two others bars also lost their liquor licenses and were closed for violating the health department’s COVID-19 policy.

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At Roosters Kitchen, owner Ross Katz tells us they asked people to stand outside to wait for their table. Katz says all his customers understood why. 

“We are still working with some social distancing for tables, table spacing and some of other constraints so we did put people on a wait,” he explained.

Many including the president of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association are hopeful this is a sign of what’s to come.

Patrick Tamm says last weekend proved people can be out downtown, be safe and socially distanced.

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“We really need to chip away at getting people back to downtown Indianapolis for work, for offices, and to enjoy events. For many people, they needed to reacquaint themselves for the first time in a year,” said Patrick Tamm.

If you plan to head downtown, keep in mind there is still a statewide mask mandate in effect until April 6. You’re also asked to be patient as bars and restaurants do their best to keep up with the crowds.


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