UPDATE: Many Neighbors in Favor of Possible Local Bar

By: Shannon Smith
By: Shannon Smith
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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – UPDATE: It seems most neighbors want to see Rural on Tap come to the Rural Oaks Plaza. Dozens of people expressed their concerns like loud music at late hours. However, other neighbors say a bar is exactly what the area needs.

That's the sound of dozens of people in favor of turning this space inside the plaza into a neighborhood bar. There are a few concerns, other people are worried a bar will lead to more crime, with rowdy crowds.

The potential bar owners say they're ditching the idea of gaming machines and targeting an older crowd. While most neighbors say it'll be a positive boost for the area, others aren't convinced.

"I think this will be a high end bar, I think it'll be doing the kinds of things that we'd like to do and lift up with our community improvement plan. I think this will be a good thing for us," said Hallie Johnston.

"When you impact a neighborhood til 1 o'clock in the morning, with traffic and outside smokers and conversation, it will change the neighborhood," said Ken Becker.

The bar owners say they want this to be a neighborhood bar. So they want to cater to those who live in the area, by even allowing them to possibly pick the drink menu.

Owners still have to get a liquor license which heads to the Liquor and Advisory committee next week. If they're approved, their proposal will have to go to the Zoning Board before it's sent to City Council.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A battle is brewing between one Rockford Neighborhood and owners of a bar that want to move into the area. The potential owner would like to turn the space near the Rural Street Hilander into Rural on Tap, however some neighbors argue the business will bring in loud crowds and a parking mess. That’s why the owners have made some changes leading up to their meeting with city council, even abandoning the idea to have gaming machines.

“There were certain things that came up that we never thought about that we had to change in our business plan to make sure that the neighborhood is happy because if the neighborhood's not happy we're not going to have a good business so we have to go by what the neighborhood wants,” said owner Nich Fosberg.

The neighborhood is holding a meeting tonight that starts at 6:30 at the PA Peterson Center for Health and is open to the public. We will have more coverage on tonight’s meeting tonight on the 23 News Update at 10.


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