Bloomington is considering adding entertainment and qualified restaurant classifications for liquor licenses. (Photo courtesy flickr)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - Mayor Steve Stockton said he hopes the city's liquor control comission will have a proposal for two new liquor license classifications ready for the city council to consider next month.
The city is looking to add licences for entertainment and qualified restaurants that would place certain restrictions designed to prevent venues from becoming taverns, which the city has tried to limit downtown.
"If we are going to try to change the character of downtown and bring in wine bars, restaurants, comedy clubs and a jazz cafe, we probably need to give some attention to what the parameters of those should be," Stockton said.
Stockton, who is also the city's liquor commission chairman, has recommeded an entertainment license as an option for Gats' Jazz Cafe, which has tried unsuccessfully to get a tavern license.
"We are certainly trying to find a way to accomodate this, that it meets the needs of the residents downtown, that it provides another nice entertainment option for people in Bloomington, Normal and McLean County," Stockton said.
The city has had an unofficial motarorium on tavern licenses for larger venues for several years.
The city took feedback at a public hearing on Thursday. About 20 people attended the hearing.
Stockton said the city continues to take feedback on the proposal. He recommends people contact him or the city's liquor commissioners by email or phone.
Stockton said he plans to have a final proposal for the commission to consider on Oct. 9, and then for the full city council to vote on Oct. 22.
Eric Stock can be reached at email@example.com.