Village of Winnebago moves forward with alcohol ban lifted

WINNEBAGO, Ill. (WIFR) - History was made on election night in the village of Winnebago when a referendum passed allowing for the sale of alcohol for the first time in nearly a century.

Village leaders and business owners say more alcohol sales present more opportunities for the community.

"We want to be more business friendly and allow restaurants and other businesses to be able to sell alcohol in the village," said Village of Winnebago President Frank Eubank.

Tuesday morning the village held a meeting to answer any questions or concerns the businesses and community had about the referendum that passed on election night allowing alcohol sales in Winnebago.

"I was here to discuss with them the procedure for obtaining a liquor license, the process they would have to go through the expenses they would be looking at and just in general how the village board and liquor commission would be working with them," said Eubank.

Kennedy's on Benton owner Dan Kennedy attended the meeting and was excited by the election results. 87 percent of Winnebago voters were in favor of alcohol sales in the village.

"Overwhelmingly it passed so we are pretty excited for the opportunities that are going to will bring our way and to the entire village," said Kennedy.

Kennedy says this was a historic election being the first time since the 1920's alcohol can be served in Winnebago and many are looking forward to it.

"I had people asking me last Sunday morning if they could order their Sunday mimosa and I said, unfortunately, we can't serve that quite yet. So I think our customer base is pretty excited about it," said Kennedy.

"The nice thing is they will now have the ability to sell alcohol along with the food that they are selling and we believe that we will keep people in the village of Winnebago it will keep people here at our restaurants instead of going elsewhere," said Eubank.

Businesses can start applying for a liquor license starting Dec. 6. The license could take up to 45 days to be granted.