PEORIA, Ill.– The owner of Rumberger’s is facing resistance from the liquor commission while trying to open a new lounge on the southside.
Tremayne Branch who now owns the building, which was formally known as Secrets Lounge, also owns two other successful restaurants in Peoria. Branch hopes to expand his business and bring something new to the southside.
The new business that would be located at 1801 SW Adams St. is facing challenges getting its liquor license due to concerns of crime and littering around the location.
Co-Owner of UFS, Pierre Serafin, said a night club isn’t in the best interest of southside neighbors.
“We need to have positive things that happen. A night club is not what we need south of McArthur. A night club … you’re gabbling. The last thing we need is your cameras focused on somebody who gets shot. which might be out of control because it’s outside,” Serafin said.
City leaders said previous tenants were shut down because of crime associated with the businesses. However, Peoria Councilwoman Denise Moore believes the new owner could turn the business around.
“He has done a great job turning around a building that used to have a lot of crime and violations. I think Mr. Branch deserves an opportunity,” Moore said. “What I am told by the officer who does the inspections for liquor is that we don’t look at the person, we look at the location. And I suggested to him the location doesn’t run itself the person in the building, runs the building, runs the operation,” Moore said.
Branch described his proposed tavern will be an upscale lounge, catering older crowd. He said business will have food, drinks, and live entertainment. He stresses that his business will not be night club as it will close at midnight and have meal items from his Rumberger’s menu.
The Manager of Walkers Used Auto Parts Robert Ochs said he thinks Branch deserves an opportunity.
“I am all for it. Any small business in Peoria. Especially if it’s owned by a Peoria Native. I know that there’s that worry about crime and things along that line. But I mean really, from what I understand, is that it’s not going to be a big club so I think it will be a good thing for the area, honestly,” Ochs said.
This week the commission was split on the plan, which means it still goes to Peoria City Council for a vote Tuesday.