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Homewood board offers split decision on liquor license requests

Two requests for liquor licenses came before the Homewood Board of Trustees at the Nov. 8 meeting. One request was approved and one was denied.

The successful applicant was Kim Nolen, owner of the Redbird Café, to be located at 2057 Ridge Road. The village board agreed to move forward with preparing a new liquor license classification, 7B, for the restaurant.

The license will specify that the café only offers beer and wine that is to be consumed on the premises. The Redbird Café will not have a video gaming liquor license and only 25 percent of its space can be used for display of alcoholic beverages.

Nolen said the Redbird Café will be serving locally sourced, farm-to-table foods coming primarily from within Illinois. Complementing the local foods will be a variety of locally sourced beverages as well, such as small batch roasted coffee, teas, sodas and locally crafted beers and wine.


She added that there is a recent renaissance going on in downtown Homewood and the Redbird Café expects to be a factor in creating a warm and inviting community-centric gathering place.

Not so fortunate was a prospective owner of United Liquors at 17532 Dixie Highway. The store currently holds a Class 2 package liquor license but it does not automatically transfer to a new owner. A Class 2 liquor license allows for retail sale of alcoholic liquor for off-premise consumption only.

Applying for the Class 2 license was Raj’s Food & Liquor, Inc. Balwinder Kaur, the president of organization, hopes to expand the family business with her son operating Raj’s Food & Liquor in Homewood. Kaur heads up the family-owned business which currently operates a store in Glenwood and is in the process of purchasing United Liquors.

Manbreeb Kaur, the Glenwood store manager who would direct the Homewood business, was bombarded with questions from the board about his business plan, which called for making the store a kind of mini-mart. Trustees wanted to know what percentage of floor space would be groceries and what would be liquors. They were not satisfied with the answers to their questions.

Kaur told trustees his profit line would be liquor sales, but he planned to increase groceries from the current 30 to 45 percent of floor space. With success of the business he hoped to buy the strip mall and make improvements to the property.

Trustee Anne Colton stated that she doesn’t think the village needs another packaged liquor store.

Trustees also raised concerns about the Glenwood store operations. The store is across the street from a school, and school administrators have requested the store bar children from entering after school lets out. Trustee Jay Heiferman also questioned how hookah pipes and other paraphernalia at the store are being shielded from persons younger than 18.

Mayor Richard Hofeld called for a motion to approve the request for the liquor license, which was met with silence by the board.

Hofeld then addressed Kaur and said, “The request is denied due to lack of a motion to approve.”

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