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As wine bar plans change, Flossmoor trustees want to see a less ‘confusing’ proposal

Flossmoor trustees in September were favorable to granting a liquor license to a proposed wine bar in Flossmoor Commons but still had questions that needed to be answered. Instead of answers, they found themselves with more questions this month after the petitioner requested a second license to offer retail sales from the same location.

Ronakkumar Patel, owner of Family Wines & Liquors in Homewood, appeared before the Flossmoor Village Board again Monday, Dec. 6, seeking a license that would allow him to sell packaged wine, beer and liquor at the establishment, following his prior request for a license to serve wine, which evolved during discussions Sept. 7 to include beer and liquor service, with the possibility of some wine bottle sales discussed.

On Dec. 6, Trustee James Mitros criticized the fact that the village had very little in writing from Patel regarding the proposal, mostly phone calls and appearances asking for different things. And those things keep changing, according to Mitros.

“It’s not anywhere close to what we initially [discussed],” Mitros said. “It keeps evolving into something bigger and bigger.”


Trustee George Lofton said Patel’s original floor plan did not include retail, so he asked how that layout might change with the updated plan. Patel said it would not, because the retail items would be kept behind the bar to sell to customers who have tried something they like. But he also suggested retail packages of beer and bottles of bourbon, which left trustees questioning where it would all be kept.

Patel originally appeared with a request for a liquor license on July 19. He also expressed interest in having video gaming at the facility. He has insisted the business will not look like a liquor store but a wine bar, with select items available to sell. He previously discussed food that would be brought in to serve at the bar. Patel added Dec. 6 that the business would use a machine to pour some wine and bourbon, allowing customers to self-serve from the device.

Trustee Gary Daggett said the way he understands the project, it would not have the appearance of a traditional liquor store, despite the retail sales.

“But it is a liquor store where it has a [bar] and gambling,” Mitros said, directing his comments to Patel. “It may not look like it, but that’s what I’m struggling with here. … You’re confusing me.

“I’m confused, and I don’t want to approve something I’m confused about.”

Trustee Rosalind Mustafa told Patel that trustees are not opposed to his proposal but need to see an entire plan that has each piece of the project.

“It’s like a puzzle where pieces are broken,” Mustafa added.

Trustee Brian Driscoll said Flossmoor wants to make sure what they are approving is an “added value” for the village and not simply a gaming parlor.

“You have good components that we like that we’ve heard about before,” Trustee Brian Driscoll added. “You’ve got some good ideas. … I think we’d like to see your vision a little bit more.”

Mitros said Patel needs to invest in an architect or designer to draw up a full plan for the business that is tangible for the board. Board members, including Mitros, have told Patel in both July and September that he had more work to do on what they want to see in a plan.

“Your concept of a wine bar is not what my concept is,” Mitros said. “We don’t have to debate it. You have to show us so we know what your concept is.

“You’ve never done it. … I’ll approve it. Give me what I’m asking for.”

Village adopts 2021 tax levy with 1.06% increase over last year’s extension
The village board voted unanimously Dec. 6 to approve its consent agenda, which included the 2021 tax levy ordinance. As the board discussed Nov. 1, the levy is $6.83 million, which is a 1.06% increase over the 2020 extension. The total levy, including the Flossmoor Public Library, is $8.31 million.

Finance Director Scott Bordui previously noted a taxpayer with a home valued at $200,000 would see an increase to the village portion of their taxes of roughly $11.

The board is also abating $1,500 related to its 2021 General Obligation bonds issued following a successful referendum to fund streets and stormwater improvements. That was approved with the consent agenda, as well. The $1,500 amounted to excess proceeds from the bond sale, according to Bordui.

Flossmoor was limited in the 2021 levy by a 1.4% Consumer Price Index. Despite inflation “surging” in recent months, the CPI is limited to figures from Dec. 31, 2020, Bordui previously explained.

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