Alto Pass leaders vote to expand liquor sales

ALTO PASS, IL (KFVS) - Alto Pass board leaders voted to expand the village's liquor sales during Tuesday's board meeting.

For the past 30 plus years there hasn't been a drop of hard liquor poured in the town of Alto Pass.

Now the owner of the Root Beer Saloon, Mike Blank, challenged the decision made by voters to keep the town dry.

He doesn't want to open a tavern, just offer his customers a glass of wine or a beer with their meals.

"They come here from all over the place and they always ask, can you serve us a glass of wine? And I have to say, no I can't," said Blank. "I think that's negative when you're on the Wine Trail and you're here in downtown Alto Pass which is known for wine, you have to be able to offer them something."

But, there are some residents who don't want to see any alcohol sold on the downtown streets.

"We're such a small village and it's a quiet village," said Linda Rendleman. "Plus what concerns me more than anything is we don't even have a police force here in Alto Pass. And there would probably be more traffic in town, and that kind of thing. That concerns me that we don't have a police force to enforce what goes on."

Blank says being able to offer his customers wine and or beer isn't going to change things in downtown Alto Pass.

"This place isn't a bar. It's never ever been like that," Blank said. "We will keep the same hours as the wineries. We just want to offer something to the patrons who come here from somewhere else, if they want it. If they don't they can have a root beer."

Over the past several years the Alto Pass Village Board has voted to allow Hedman Winery and Alto Vineyards a license to serve wine at their locations. Both wineries are in the city limits.

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