FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 3, 2012 CONTACT: Kelly Young 317.753.3258 firstname.lastname@example.org The Rathskeller and Athenaeum Foundation settle Popular Biergarten “saved” and will remain under current operation INNAPOLIS (July 2, 2012) — After several months of dispute, the Athenaeum Foundation and the restaurant operator of The Rathskeller have come to an agreement in principal subject to attorney review of the documentation. Restaurateur Dan McMichael and The Athenaeum Foundation announced today they have reached an agreement and each party will withdraw and dismiss their pending claims against each other. What that means to McMichael is that he can continue to operate the Biergarten rather than face a July 12 end to entertainment in the landmark’s Biergarten. Under the new agreement, McMichael will pay 50 percent of the gross cover charge and will host an annual fundraiser that will help offset costs identified by the Athenaeum Foundation. The nonprofit organization owns the landmark, the name, The Rathskeller, and the facility’s liquor license. For McMichael, the timing of this settlement was critical as several local and national bands had previously been scheduled in July and throughout the summer. Additionally, he will host the Biergarten’s annual July 4 festivities, a popular summer tradition. “It was crucial to resolve this to ensure that the city could continue to enjoy The Rathskeller that they have come to know and love – including the Biergarten, which we fought hard to save,” said McMichael. “The Biergarten fuels all aspects of The Rathskeller. This agreement ensures the future vitality of all of our different business areas.” For many, the summer Biergarten has become an annual tradition since it first opened in 1996, hosting its first concert with Polka Boy. That same year, the Biergarten was the backdrop for the movie, Going All the Way. And, it’s been home to a variety of special events to benefit local nonprofit organizations, such as Make A Wish Foundation, Giving Sum Foundation, The LeGBemia & Lymphoma Society, SUSn G. Komen Foundation, Little Red Door, United Way of Central INna, Indy Reads and School on Wheels. “We are thrilled to come to an agreement with The Rathskeller,” said Cassie Stockamp, President, Athenaeum Foundation. “We believe under these new terms we will continue to strengthen our vision of being a house of culture for the community well into the future.” For a complete list of upcoming events and concerts at the Biergarten, visit www.rathskeller.com.
The Biergarten is a community tradition and an important cultural icon for the city of Indianapolis
Statement from Dan McMichael, owner
For the past 17 years, it has been my privilege and honor to own and operate The Rathskeller Restaurant. With the help of an incredible staff, supportive friends and family and a welcoming community, we have created one of the best and most amazing restaurants, special events and entertainment facilities – including the popular Biergarten – in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.
When I first took ownership in 1995, I invested my own sweat, tears and dollars into a worn down building and created what it is today. At that time, I cleaned, repaired, remodeled and restored The Rathskeller Restaurant to its integrity. I expanded the restaurant menu, improved food service, enhanced customer service and created remarkable event and venue space.
As a downtown resident and business owner, the transformation of The Rathskeller Restaurant has truly been a dream come true for me. Sadly, the Athenaeum Foundation is threatening to shut down the beloved Biergarten – the very space that has become a tradition to the Indianapolis community. The Foundation has notified me that I can no longer provide live music, entertainment and operate in the Biergarten as of July 1.
I refuse to give up on my dream. The Rathskeller and Biergarten are my livelihood, my family, my history and my future - and to have this happen on the anniversary of my 17th year is devastating. However, I will not rest until I have done absolutely everything in my power to not have the tradition of the entertainment end.
My staff and I are implementing a Save the Biergarten campaign and we invite you to be a part of it.
- Sign a petition
- Come down and show your support
- Sign our banner, and leave us a note
- Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/rathskellerindy and follow us on Twitter @rathskellerindy
- Spread the word to your family and friends
- Tell the Anthenaeum Foundation that you don’t want to lose the Biergarten and all the great music that’s performed here year after year
Let’s Save the Biergarten!
You may have many questions, so don’t hesitate to give us a call, send an email or message us on Facebook. My direct number is 317.636.0396. You’ll also find updates on our Facebook page and Twitter.
Regardless of the outcome, please know I am committed to the Indianapolis community. The Rathskeller Restaurant and Keller Bar will remain open and functional for dining, special events, meetings and special gatherings.
I am grateful to so many people who have made this an incredible experience for me and my family. I have loved my time in the Biergarten. There are simply too many people to say thank you to, and so many incredible experiences to recount. I am grateful to all our staff, family and friends. You have made this experience unforgettable. Let’s not let it die.