The Ridgewood Tap could have a new owner soon, and on Sept. 13, the Homewood Board of Trustees voted in favor of increasing class 1 liquor licenses by one. That will allow Ridgewood owner Scott Donkel to receive one, contingent on meeting village requirements.
Donkel told the board he has a contract on the business and is hoping to rejuvenate the longtime establishment.
The previous owner, Judith Riggs, died in July after operating the business since 1965.
“I’ve known the Riggs family for years and years,” Donkel said. “I’ve been in the liquor and bar business for over 30 years.”
He said the Ridgewood had not been updated for some time and is in need of a new vision.
“Now it’s sort of dark and dingy. I want to brighten it up,” he said. “I’m looking toward having a more open style.”
He noted that the timing is good for a new approach, with the Hartford Building under construction a block away. When it is finished, there could be an influx of new downtown residents. And there are two more projects in the planning stages, one a block north of the Ridgewood on the village hall parking lot and one a few blocks away, at the site of the former Savoia T’Go restaurant at Dixie Highway and Hickory Road.
“I’m very positive about the future of Homewood,” Donkel said. “There’s a lot of missed opportunity at that corner, and I intend to grab it.”
In other business, the board approved two zoning variances.
The Target store at 17605 Halsted St. was granted permission to install a 611-square-foot sign, which is 111 square feet more than allowed by village codes.
Mohammad Majid, new owner of the former Discount Tire building at 810 Maple Ave. was granted a parking variance. He plans to divide the building for two retail uses, a tobacco shop and a beauty supply store. The site would need 48 parking spaces for retail uses but has only 26 available.
The board also awarded a bid to Bruno’s Tuckpointing of Hazel Crest for tuckpointing at 2018 Ridge Road, which is slated to become an annex to the Homewood Science Center.