Anna City Council votes to look further into proposal for outdoor liquor sales

The Anna City Council last week revisited discussion about the sale of alcohol at outdoor locations which often are referred to as beer gardens.

The issue was addressed, and voted on again, at the council's regular meeting on Tuesday evening, July 19. The meeting was at Anna City Hall.

The possible availability of alcohol in outdoor settings had been discussed by the city council during its first meeting in July.

Such sales currently are not allowed under the guidelines of the city's liquor ordinance. In order for such sales, the ordinance would need to be amended.

At the council's first meeting in July, Mayor Steve Hartline had sought the authority to look into the possibility of drafting changes in the ordinance which could allow for outdoor availability of alcohol.

The matter had been raised by representatives of two Anna restaurant businesses: The Depot and El Jalapeno.

Smoking for customers also was addressed as part of the discussion.

El Jalapeno recently received approval from the city for a building permit for an outdoor deck. Initially, discussion about the deck had centered on making a space available for smokers.

During the discussion at the council's meeting on July 5, the mayor had indicated that he did not want to pursue working on drafting changes to the city's liquor ordinance unless he had support from the council to do so.

At that time, the council voted down the proposal by a 3-2 margin. The mayor and city council member Brandon Bierstedt voted in favor of the proposal. Council members David Isom, Al Kamp and Martha Ann Webb voted no.

The council's action in early July subsequently was reported to have been the focus of numerous postings on social media outlets.

The matter appeared on the agenda for the council's July 19 meeting as "El Jalapeno Restaurant Clarification Outdoor Liquor License Purpose."

El Jalapeno representative Janet Anderson asked the council to consider looking into how other towns in the area handle what are known as beer gardens.

Anderson said that she thought the city council simply had shut down discussion about the matter at its earlier meeting in July. Anderson asked that the council consider reopening the discussion.

Further discussion then was followed by a motion made by council member Bierstedt to allow the mayor to work on a draft to change the city's liquor ordinance to allow for outside sale of alcohol. 

Initially, Bierstedt made reference to a beer garden. That was quickly changed to an area which would be considered a continued outdoor area with liquor sales.

The mayor seconded Bierstedt's motion. A roll call vote followed. The mayor and all four city council members/commissioners voted in support of the motion.

The entire council will have to act to approve any changes which might be made in the city's liquor ordinance.

El Jalapeno representative Anderson said she appreciated the action which was taken by the city council.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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