Change in Joliet liquor ordinance clears way for microbrewery

Brock A. Stein | 2/3/2016, 10:18 a.m.
The opening of a proposed Joliet microbrewery came a step closer to happening following a city council-approved change in its ...

A change to Joliet’s liquor ordinance this week will allow for the operation of a proposed brew pub in the city’s downtown district.

City Manager Jim Hock said that officials have “been approached by a potential brew pub to be located at Union Station downtown.”

The change is necessary, said Economic development director Steve Jones, because the current ordinance didn’t allow for the operation of a microbrewery within the downtown district.

“Specifically that the ordinance didn’t have a provision for such a thing,” said Jones who has said earlier in the week that he was optimistic to have the approval of the brewery before the city council within 30-60 days.

The change, said Jones, will allow production of beer on the site as well as consumption and sales in a B2-zoned business district.

“It really deals with where the product is consumed,” said Jones of the change.

Manager Jim Hock said that the proposed microbrewer would be located in the old Bar Blu location.

Jones said that a microbrewery use was already allowed in the city’s B3 commercial corridors such as strip mall centers and mall outlots.

In some cases, said Jones, some brew pubs are cropping up in other communities in their manufacturing districts.

“Because it’s relatively cheap space,” said Jones.

brock@thetimesweekly.com or on Twitter @BrockAStein