Bloomington council votes to deny Park Pantry liquor license; approves gaming license for Parkview

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — A Bloomington business owner changes his plans and another prepares for the future. 

During Monday’s meeting council members voted on an amendment to the city’s moratorium on new gaming licenses.

The moratorium prohibits any business from obtaining a new license, but there are a couple of exceptions. 

First, if a fraternal organization wanted a license it could be granted. Second, if a business had video gaming terminals before the moratorium went into effect. 

Parkview Inn was that exception, they had gaming but were shutdown because the business was destroyed in a fire.

“Those establishments that had gaming prior to March 1 of 2018, which was the cutoff for the moratorium,” said Assistant City Manager, Billy Tyus. “For reasons whereby they had to temporarily cease those operations and have then rebuilt, they would be allowed to potentially have a license.”

Council members Monday decided to allow Parkview Inn to bring back video gaming. 

Leaders also voted on the controversial topic, whether the park pantry convenience store will be allowed to sell alcohol.

The convenience store is not yet open but the store owner planed to sell alcohol when it did. After community members petitioned the board to not let it happen, the council voted to deny the convenience store the license.

“We just persistently said we don’t want alcohol sales we’ve seen what alcohol sales has done to our neighborhood,” said Nathan Russo of Bloomington. “We are homeowners for years, some of us generational, and we just don’t want the element no more.”

The store owner after the meeting said, with this vote, he will not open the convenience store. 

He says the business model was contingent on the store selling alcohol.

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