Yats recommended for beverage license

A downtown Columbus restaurant has been recommended to receive the seventh of 10 available Riverfront alcoholic beverage licenses, which would allow it to add mixed drinks to its beer and wine menu.

The Columbus Redevelopment Commission last week approved the license for Yats, a Cajun Creole-themed restaurant at 325 Fourth St.

The redevelopment commission’s approval was forwarded to Mayor Kristen Brown, who said she would forward it to the state with a favorable recommendation.

With the mayor’s approval, the restaurant will now petition the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission for approval, said Heather Pope, Columbus redevelopment director.

Liz Kays, who owns Yats with her son Charlie Kays, said with the state’s approval she hopes to begin expanding the drink offerings for the restaurant within three months.

The Kays decided to ask for the Riverfront license after determining that many downtown customers stop in for something to eat and a few beers but often want something more — and move on to other downtown restaurants that serve cocktails.

She emphasized, however, that Yats will remain a family-friendly restaurant along with the expanded drink menu.

The Riverfront licenses were created to help strengthen the economic vitality of the city’s riverfront district, which encompasses the downtown area and restaurants to the north of downtown, according to the city’s description of the licensing program on its website.

The licenses are offered to create economic opportunities in the downtown and near-downtown area that lengthens the district’s appeal into the evening hours.

With Yats approval, the city has three remaining Riverfront licenses that may be awarded, Pope said.

Bistro 310, which had been located across Fourth Street from Yats, surrendered its three-way license after it closed in late December.

— Julie McClure, jmcclure@therepublic.com

Columbus restaurants with Riverfront liquor licenses

The following restaurants have Riverfront Alcohol Beverage Licenses with the city of Columbus and the state.

  • Smith’s Row, 418 Fourth St.
  • Garage Pub & Grill, 308 Fourth St.
  • Tre Bicchieri, 425 Washington St.
  • Joe Willy’s, 1034 Washington St.
  • Jordy McTaggart’s Grill & Pub, 310 Washington St.
  • Henry Social Club, 423 Washington St.
  • Yats, 325 Fourth St. (pending approval from state).
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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.