Danville considers creating microbrewery license category

Danville considers creating microbrewery license category

DANVILLE — There has been interest in opening a microbrewery in downtown Danville, according to Danville city officials, so they want to create a new microbrewery liquor license in hopes that type of business materializes in the future.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said the city has had contact from some individuals and entities interested in such a business downtown. He said the interest is not to the point that such an establishment would open the next day if the city makes that type of liquor license available. But because the city is already updating it's liquor ordinance, he said, the decision was made to go ahead and create that new category, in case the interest turns into reality. And maybe, he said, it will encourage someone who's shown interest to "pull the trigger." He said city officials have had about three to four inquiries altogether about a microbrewery downtown. Eisenhauer said he believes the interest stems from the success similar businesses have had in downtown Champaign and in other cities in the state.

"I think people have generally recognized that's the type of business that has been successful in other communities and why not here?" he said.

The city council's public services committee tonight will consider making several changes to the city's liquor ordinance, including creating a microbrewery liquor license classification with one available license.

The committee meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal building, 17 W. Main St., Danville.

David Wesner, corporation counsel for the city, said city officials have reviewed all the liquor license classifications and are recommending several changes with the intent of bringing the classifications closer to the true nature of the businesses holding such licenses.

For example, he said, grocery stores that sell package liquor are included in the same classification, P, as stores that sell only package liquor. City administration is recommending that the grocery stores be moved into their own category, PG, and the number of licenses in that new classification will be 12. As a result, the number of licenses available in the Class P classification, which would become a category for stores that sell package liquor only, would be reduced from 15 to nine, Wesner said.

Other recommended changes include reducing the number of licenses in certain classifications. Like class AA, which is motels or hotels with restaurants that sell alcohol, would be reduced from four available liquor licenses to two. And Class B, which is restaurants that sell beer and wine, would be reduced from seven to six licenses, and Class E, which are clubs that sell alcohol, would be reduced from 11 to eight licenses.

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