YORKVILLE – With two new banquet halls coming to town, patrons will now be able to enjoy adult beverages in those venues’ patio areas.
The Yorkville City Council voted, 7-0, during their Thursday, July 9 meeting to approve a liquor code amendment that allows banquet halls to offer outdoor liquor service. Ward 1 Alderman Ken Koch was absent from the meeting.
Mayor John Purcell said the city’s liquor code currently does not allow outdoor liquor service on an outdoor beer garden or patio area for a banquet hall.
Right now, applicants would have to obtain two separate licenses, one to sell liquor inside and another to sell liquor outside, he said.
“We’re just trying to combine it and make it more efficient,” Purcell said.
The update comes after petitioners for a liquor application for the banquet hall being built in the 100 block of Saravanos
Drive requested the banquet hall license class, according to city documents. The business would also like to offer outdoor liquor service, the documents said.
Yorkville police chief
In other city council news, Purcell said city staff are conducting job interviews for the Yorkville police chief position. He said there have been more than 35 applicants for the job.
Purcell said he’s looking to finish the first round of interviews by the end of next week, with additional rounds having yet to be determined. He said he is hoping for a new chief to be sworn in on Aug. 1.
“My goal is still to have someone placed by Aug. 15 at latest,” Purcell said.
The update comes after the City Council approved in May a mutual release agreement between the city and Yorkville Police Chief Rich Hart to begin the process of his retirement.
Hart confirmed his anticipated retirement date would be between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15. He declined additional comment on the matter, citing lack of involvement in the selection process at this point.
Old jail update
Following two applicants giving their tax increment financing proposals during the previous City Council meeting, there was no update on the old jail on the agenda or discussed during the public meeting on Tuesday, July 9.
City Administrator Bart Olson said the city is still negotiating with developers behind the for-profit project proposal, which includes a possible microbrewery and possibly up to five residential units. He said the talks have been productive and the two parties have discussed concepts like what private and surrounding public boundaries would look like, but formal TIF offers haven’t been discussed yet.
Olson said he anticipates having an update regarding the old jail on the agenda for the next City Council meeting.
“Whether that will be a discussion on where we’re at or an update on a formal agreement remains to be seen over the next week and a half,” Olson said.