For first time since 1999, Joliet OKs bar east of Raynor
by bob okon email@example.com March 6, 2013 8:11AM
Updated: April 7, 2013 6:13AM
A new Joliet bar has been licensed east of Raynor Avenue for what is believed to be the first time since 1999.
The Legend II Sports Bar will open at 1220 S. Richards St.
The Joliet City Council approved the license Monday.
The council in September ended an ordinance that put a general ban on stand-alone bars east of Raynor Avenue. Bars were allowed if they were part of restaurant operations. The ordinance was put in place out of concern about the number of bars in the older parts of Joliet. It prohibited new bars in the entire east side of town and the near west side.
Mayor Thomas Giarrante, also the city’s liquor commissioner, said the change would be good for business, and new bars could be controlled.
“If someone wants to open a nice bar without a restaurant they can do that,” Giarrante said. “It’s not an issue anymore because we can control them.”
Giarrante said Legends II will be the first bar he knows of to open east of Raynor since 1999.
The city ended the ban at the same time new limits were imposed on single-container alcohol sales at liquor stores.
The bar owner is Michael Carruthers, a local businessman and unsuccessful candidate for city council in 2011. Carruthers has served on the Will County Planning and Zoning Commission and is a leader in local veterans organizations.
His 5,000-square-foot bar also will have banquet space for nearly 200 people, Carruthers said.
Several council members said they had checked out Legends II and complimented Carruthers on his soon-to-open business.
“I think it’s a fantastic addition to that area of town for someone to sit down after a hard day, have a cocktail and relax,” Councilman Larry Hug said.
Councilman Don Fisher described the bar as “outstanding.”