Joe’s Pub in Bloomington fined hundreds of dollars for non-compliance

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — On Tuesday, the Bloomington Liquor Commission voted to penalize a popular bar for allowing customers to dine indoors.

Joe’s Pub was fined $400 last week for breaking what Mayor Tari Renner calls COVID-19 rules. The owners lawyered-up, hoping to appeal their case in front of the liquor commission on Tuesday, but instead, found themselves on the wrong end of an even larger fine: $600.

Renner said the goal is not to hurt the establishment, as the pandemic is causing a financial strain, but rather let this serve as a warning for others.

“Obviously we want Joe’s Pub to succeed,” said Renner. “We want the people who are working with Joe’s Pub to be able to go to work. We are facing a very serious situation here, and whether or not this is the best way to handle it, is only my call right here.”

The pub has until Jan. 10, 2021 to pay the fine.

WHERE DOES THE FINE MONEY GO?

In total, 10 Bloomington establishments have been fined, for a grand total of $5,400, and city leaders now have a new idea of what to do with the funds.

On Tuesday, Mayor Tari Renner, the Mayor Pro Tem, and the City Manager signed an executive order, stating all money collected from food and beverage establishments that violate state mandates, will be going to District 87. More specifically, to families in the district who have been struggling during this tough time and need an added lift this holiday season.

“Those families may get gift cards for groceries, enough money to provide a Christmas present for their child or their children, said D87 Superintendent Dr. Barry Reilly. “I’m not too thrilled with why we are getting this money, because I know that it is tough on a lot of folks out there, but it does make me feel a little better knowing that it’s going to our families in need.”

The city’s liquor commission is awaiting two other hearings regarding possible violations committed by the Western Tap and Mickey’s Kitchen.

If they are penalized, that money would also go into the fund.    

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