Galesburg Northgate Lanes could be replaced with liquor store, bar

GALESBURG – A large retail liquor store that would include a bar, playground and outdoor patio is being considered for the site of the vacant Northgate Lanes Bowling Center, 1576 N. Henderson St.

According to the agenda for the city council meeting on Monday, October 18, the city has been contacted by a company that wants to construct a building that would house a retail liquor store of approximately 11,000 to 15,000 square feet and a 1,000 liquor store in Bar and 1,200 square foot playground with an outdoor patio. The building would also include two other retail spaces.

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The agenda item goes on to say that the owners have other similar stores in Pontiac, Rochelle, Ottawa, St-Charles and Dixon. A company called Liquor ‘n’ Wine has stores in these towns. The Register-Mail has contacted Liquor ‘n’ Wine for comment.

The city council will consider on Monday at first reading an amendment to article 113.043 (C) of chapter 113 of the municipal code of Galesburg concerning the establishment of a class C-2 liquor license. The new license requires the retail side to be at least 10,000 square feet and any adjoining bar must have a minimum of 1,000 square feet with seating for 10 people.

The city would receive $ 5,300 in licensing fees, plus sales tax and gaming tax revenue. The liquor commissioner, administration and city clerk recommend approval of the ordinance.

Northgate Lanes opened as a 24 lane bowling facility in 1958. In 1963 another 16 lanes were added and the facility has grown to 40 since. However, the business closed in August 2019. At the time, The Register-Mail reported that the decision to close was the result of overdue and unpaid government taxes. Owner Art Spiers said late last month that every attempt has been made over the past two years to find a buyer who would reopen the facility as a bowling alley.

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“It won’t be a bowling alley anymore, and that’s just inconceivable for Galesburg,” Spiers told the Register-Mail in a September 29 article.

The addition of a large retail liquor store on North Henderson Street appears to be in direct competition with the two Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits stores in Galesburg, including one in direct view of Northgate at 1400 N. Henderson St. Il there are also several other smaller stores. , stand-alone liquor stores in Galesburg.

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