Cardinal Liquor Barn, located on Southwest Highway, is working with the Village of Oak Lawn on a business expansion plan that could allow the store to add a bar area and a gaming area in its building.
At a recent board meeting, Trustee Robert Streit (Dist. 3) asked if the board would consider allowing the business owner to modify his business in order to add a bar and video gaming. Streit said that we was contacted by the business, which is located in his district, after the village’s staff told the owner that there wasn’t a classification for what he wanted to do.
“I assumed that there was some kind of miscommunication because it is a large facility that could be modified”, said Streit, who brought the issue to the village board. Streit said that facilities that have both liquor stores and bars are not uncommon and it has been a good business model over the years. He said that the business owner’s request was a “reasonable one” and asked the staff to meet with the owner and determine what modifications would have to be made.
The owner has his own ideas according to Streit, who suggested that perhaps there would be a separate entrance. Streit said that the owner told him that he had paid $3 million dollars in taxes and was finding it difficult to compete.
Streit noted that the business has plenty of parking and sits on a property zoned properly.
Mayor Sandra Bury asked village attorney Paul O’Grady what would be involved in creating such a classification, noting that she wasn’t sure if the board should put the horse in front of the cart or behind it.
Before O’Grady could respond, Trustee Michael Carberry (Dist. 6) said, “Let’s take the suggestion and have him meet with staff”. Upon being reached by the Oak Lawn Leaf, Streit said it is his understanding, based on communications from the economic development director and village manager that the staff has been meeting with the owner.
The Village of Oak Lawn made $38,084.03 for the month of March in taxes from video gaming operations at various bars. At least thirty other locations are currently licensed by the State of Illinois to offer video gaming. According to our review of crime reports in Oak Lawn, no criminal activity has been reported as a direct result of video gaming.