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Longtime ‘dry town’ South Holland issues first liquor license at restaurant

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (August 27, 2023) – The Village of South Holland issued its first ever liquor license this month to a long-standing pancake house in the community. Blueberry Field Pancake House and Restaurant will begin including mimosas on their breakfast menu, under a license for beer and wine sales.

After years of meeting with church leaders, neighborhood group leaders, and business leaders, a unanimous decision to change the ordinance came to fruition for the Village. The new ordinance allows restaurants to sell alcohol if it is served with food.

Fine dining restaurants have avoided locations in the former dry town because they were unable to offer customers alcoholic beverages with their food.

The town’s first request for a liquor license occurred a few years ago. Developers were proposing a hotel and restaurant along the expressway, but the development was never started due to the pandemic.

In a statement, South Holland Mayor Don De Graff said, “We want to provide the highest quality of service for our residents and businesses. We want to keep them economically strong but also to fit in with the social fabric of who we are as a community.”

Residents have spent years prompting officials for a change so that they can dine in their community and spend their tax dollars locally.

“I fully support the issuance of liquor licenses here,” said resident Tim DeYoung, “I am excited about the new economic development opportunities this will bring to South Holland in the future.”

Some others, however, are not thrilled about the modification of the ordinance.

Patti Koopmans has been a resident of South Holland for 60 years. “I don’t like the idea of alcohol because it’s a slippery slope,” she said. “We have never even had restaurants open on Sunday before recently.”

In a press release, Village officials said, “While the board has absolutely no interest in ever having liquor stores or saloons in South Holland, the Village Board agreed to allow alcohol, in very limited portions of town, as long as it is served with food,”

The new ordinance will permit only restaurants located within the U.S. 6 corridor, village center, and an area near the Bishop Ford Expressway to receive a liquor license. Packaged liquor sales and bars are still prohibited in the village.

“We are willing to change what we do but not who we are. Our community stands on high principles and high values,” said De Graff, “We are going to be very judicious on how we approach this going forward.”

Blueberry Field Pancake House and Restaurant will begin selling mimosas next month, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan brings local experience and a long list of journalism skills to her work with The Lansing Journal. She understands the need for reliable, factual information in equipping people to build community. An Audio News internship with WBEZ honed her interviewing skills and her sense of timing and deadlines. A native of Calumet City, Kinise is familiar with the interplay of local government, local schools, and local businesses.

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