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Lake Bluff OKs New Pub

At its first-ever virtual board meeting, the Lake Bluff Board of Trustees on April 13 unanimously approved an ordinance granting a special-use permit for Lawrence English Pub at 103-113 E. Scranton Avenue.

Before the trustees voted on the ordinance, Lake Bluff Brewing Company owner Mike Dorneker addressed the board via a Zoom webinar application. He asked the trustees to delay the approval of another pub in Lake Bluff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the village approves another pub it will drive us out of business,” Dorneker told the board. “Please delay approval of another pub for 90 days so we can get back on our feet.”

Gary Lawrence, the idea man behind Lawrence English Pub and co-owner of Lawrence Framing & Interiors, also called in to address the board. Trustees asked him for a timeline on when the proposed pub might open. “Our best estimate will be to open the pub in 18 months. Once we receive approval from the village board, we then need to seek funding. After funding of the project is complete, we would continue to construction.”

Trustee William Meyer pointed out that Dorneker’s request was to delay passage until the current crisis ends. “For timing, “ Meyers said “there is no doubt that the English Pub would not open at the soonest for 18 months. I don’t believe we in government can make choices to impede the free market. ... I urge the board to approve the agenda item.”

Several trustees spoke up in agreement with Meyer’s statement. Trustee Aaron Towle said the clientele of the English pub would be somewhat different from patrons of the Lake Bluff Brew pub, and that the addition of an English pub would be beneficial to the village. Trustee Joy Markee said she agreed with her fellow trustees and also: “I would add that I would hope by adding another pub, instead of making the pie static we make the pie bigger. That might benefit Lake Bluff Brewing Company as well.”

Markee’s sentiment was echoed by trustee Barbara Ankeman, who said: “There may be a larger clientele base (for the English pub) with Saturday morning hours with a football and soccer focus. Perhaps there would be additional people who would patronize this business that would not be in direct competition with Lake Bluff Brewing Company. I wish Lake Bluff Brewing Company well but do not want the village to interfere with the free market. If investors want to put money in this new pub we should not discourage that.”

Note from Lake Bluff Strong: You can support Lake Bluff Brewing Company during the COVID-19 crisis: Call to order beer and pick it up curbside from the tap room, or get it delivered to your home -- Donati's Pizza is delivering for Lake Bluff Brewing Company. Order a pizza with your craft beer that is freshly brewed in downtown Lake Bluff! Call Donati's at (847) 735-8900.Call Lake Buff Brewing Company at (224) 544-5179. You may also purchase gift certificates from both businesses. Here are some links:

LBBC: https://www.lbbrew.com/menu

Donati's Pizza: https://donatispizza.com/index.html