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KYNGZ liquor license questions, Ridge Road sidewalk grant – a Village Board summary

LANSING, Ill. (February 21, 2024) – The Lansing Village Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, February 20 to discuss and vote on village business, including issuing a liquor license to KYNGZ Restaurant and announcing a grant for downtown sidewalk improvements. The Board also voted to approve a variety of proposals made at the February 6 Board meeting and heard from public commenters with concerns about leadership at the state and township levels.

Liquor license for KYNGZ Restaurant

KYNGZ Restaurant appeared before the Village Board in 2022 with plans to open an upscale restaurant at 16731 Torrence Avenue in the Landings area. Delays in bringing the restaurant into code compliance meant that the liquor license created in 2022 was never issued, and thus expired.

Before voting Tuesday on re-issuing the liquor license, Village Attorney Matthew Welch explained the parameters of the new license, which generated discussion among trustees. Among the stipulations in the license are details on KYNGZ’s open hours, occupancy, and floor plan, and well as stipulations that the restaurant would not have a dance floor, live gaming, or any cover charges.

Discussion among trustees focused on the cover charge prohibition and if such a stipulation would keep KYNGZ from charging for ticketed events.

“We had a very frank discussion as the Committee of the Whole … with [KYGNZ co-owner] Mr. Pratt specifically about ticketed events,” said Trustee Jerry Zeldenrust. “At that point, I do believe his comments were that he was still looking to have ticketed events.”

Attorney Welch, however, said the definition of “cover charge” is “any fee that is charged for admission,” which includes any type of tickets. “If you’re paying for admission to the facility, it falls under the prohibition,” he said.

When it came time to vote, trustees Brian Hardy, Leo Valencia, and Maureen Grady-Perovich voted to issue a liquor license to KYNGZ, while trustees Saad Abbasy and Jerry Zeldenrust voted against. Trustee Micaela Smith abstained. Attorney Welch said an abstention goes with the majority, meaning the motion passed and the Class 1 liquor license was issued.

Anthony Pratt, co-owner of KYNGZ, told The Lansing Journal, “The Village did not give us a definite answer on whether or not [selling tickets] is admissible.”

Pratt said KYNGZ is hoping to open in mid-March.

Sidewalk grant for downtown Lansing

Jeff Pintar, from Robinson Engineering, informed the Board that Lansing has recently been named a grant recipient through the Rebuild Illinois program. The Village will receive $875,000 that will be used for new sidewalks in the downtown area of Ridge Road.

“What does this look like? We don’t know yet,” Pintar said, “We’re going to be replacing the concrete with concrete. We can change patterns, from where the benches are to the walkways. We can do some kind of decorative border patterns. We can change our [existing] green idea to red. We can do a lot of different things.”

Administrator Podgorski said Ridge Road will be repaved this year, and the sidewalk replacement could take place next year. The Board will vote to formally ratify the grant agreement at a future meeting.

Other discussions and approvals

Board meeting

  • Trustees voted to issue a Class 15 liquor license to the Ford Hangar.
  • The Board voted to amend a TIF redevelopment agreement with Krystal Goins, the owner of the future Hotaru restaurant at 3307 Ridge Road.
  • Trustees approved the abatement of “real estate tax heretofore levied for the tax levy year 2023 to pay the debt service on general obligation refunding bonds,” 2019a and 2019b.
  • The Board approved changes to the Facade Improvement program, “including the creation of one universal facade application and increasing the minimum investment of material improvements to $5,000.”
  • The Board approved awarding a bid for new airport snow removal equipment.
  • The Board voted in favor of purchasing new self contained breathing apparatuses for the Lansing Fire Department.
  • Three public comments were made Tuesday night.
    • Mary Avon is a Dolton resident who is part of the group called Advisory Committee to the Peoples’ Trustees. Avon is encouraging local municipalities to speak out against Thornton Township leadership, and shared her intention to plan a rally in South Holland.
    • Bob Malkas referenced a state press release published by The Lansing Journal on February 18 announcing additional state and county funding to respond to asylum seekers. “What can we do to stop this insanity?” Malkas asked the Board. “Consider taking some public stance.”
    • Ryan Sinwelski informed the board of some ongoing issues in Harvey, and commended the Lansing Board for its well-run public meeting.
  • Trustee Maureen Grady-Perovich requested an update in a future meeting on the status of renovations of Village-owned buildings.

Committee of the Whole meeting

  • Dave Davila, owner of 3332 Ridge Road — the home of Foto Shop — appeared before the Committee of the Whole to request reimbursement through the Village’s facade improvement program. He said in late 2023, the brick facade separated from the structure of the building, becoming dangerous. He took the necessary steps to fix the issue, and the Board will vote to reimburse him for his expenses at a future board meeting.
  • Finance Director Brian Hanigan provided trustees with a quarter three overview of the Village’s finances. “All the department heads are well within their budgets,” he said.
  • Fire Chief Chad Kooyenga requested the Board approve the purchase of a new cardiac monitor system at a future board meeting.
  • Steven Kaminsky of Robinson Engineering requested that the Board approve submitting an application for a Community Development Block Grant, which the Village usually receives every other year, and uses for street resurfacing.

Learn more

Village Board meetings typically occur at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in the Village Courtroom, located at 2710 170th Street. To contact a trustee or Village official, visit VillageofLansing.org.

Unsure how Village Board meetings work, or what trustees do? Click below to view The Lansing Journal’s video guide:

Want to learn what happened at the February 6 meeting? We’ve got you covered there too:

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.