KANKAKEE — No Dogs Sports Bar in downtown Kankakee, which is relocating only a couple buildings north within the 200 block of South Schuyler Avenue, received its new liquor license.
However, there was some discussion at Monday’s Kankakee City Council meeting regarding whether the license belonged to No Dogs former home at 296 S. Schuyler, owned by businessman Jimmy LaCost, or whether the license belonged to the bar operator, in this case Brent Manau, who is in the process of moving the downtown mainstay to its new site at 259 S. Schuyler Ave., the former home of FEED Art and Cultural Center.
Prior to the start of the council meeting, Miranda Petak — who is leasing 296 S. Schuyler from her father, Jimmy LaCost — said she is seeking to establish a new bar at the location but has yet to gain a city liquor license. She has concerns about the availability of a license since the location’s license is being transferred.
Petak is slated to meet with Kankakee Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong in the coming days to discuss the plans for the location. The mayor also serves as the city’s liquor commissioner and as such, grants liquor licenses.
At issue was whether the license belongs to the site or to the operators of the bar. City attorney Mike McGrath said the license belongs to the operator. He said the license can simply be transferred to 259 S. Schuyler. The new No Dogs is expected to open in the coming weeks.
Some aldermen suggested there is no need for discussion as at least five bars have closed in recent months so there should be licenses available, without the city having to expand its number of licenses.
One alderman, Mike O’Brien, questioned the city’s existing ordinance regarding the transfer of licenses. He said the law indicates the license is tied to the address, rather than the operator.
McGrath said the license is without question tied to the operator.
“The license is under their name, not the address,” he said.
To make it even clearer, McGrath said background checks are conducted on license holders, not the property.
After the meeting Petak said it is her goal to help the downtown by bringing life back to a location, which is now vacant, and to downtown as a whole.