A brewery in a Park?

Follow-up story  https://blnnews.com/2020/06/19/brewery-from-the-possible-owner/

By:  Diane Benjamin

Last night I met with the group of citizens opposed to allowing a micro-brewery at the location below in One Normal Plaza.  I also drove through the area and took a lot of pictures.   Contrary to what the Town believes, Marc Tiritilli is not leading this group.  He attended the meeting but citizens led the discussion.

First a map, the property is just east of Beech St:

cole st

E Lincoln and Cole St are both narrow roads, they aren’t made for large vehicle traffic.

Below is the site of the proposed micro-brewery.  The building already contains a swimming pool where lessons are given to kids.  The taller section is a gymnasium that would be converted.  This picture was taken from the parking lot of the baseball-football field.


This sign is located in front of the parking lot of the field.  NO ALCOHOL is allowed in the park, the brewery would be serving it across the street:


The Activities Center is at the top of the Circle Dr:


Mulberry School is across from the proposed site:


The field directly south:


The Town owned parking lot is used by the Activities Center, Happy Splashes, and the people using the field.  There is very limited parking attached to the field.  There is no place for large truck traffic.


On the north side of the parking is another school, the play equipment is visible from the proposed site:


This area feels like a park, it is a place meant for kids.  The proposed site does need someone to love it as much as many of the other historic buildings in the area.  However, it is difficult to see how manufacturing alcohol is the “right fit”.  

We don’t have a lot of details, but the residents believe alcohol would be served on site.  They also believe shipping at least 75% of what is produced would happen.  That would mean truck traffic in an area that wasn’t made for it.

There are lots of empty buildings around Bloomington-Normal.  A better location should be easy to find.

Instead of a micro-brewery the Town should be forcing Nick Africano to work on the building he was paid to fix up or tear down:








18 thoughts on “A brewery in a Park?

  1. This doesn’t make any sense. Went there many times taking the kids to dance lessons in that building. The entire area is focused on children. Let’s put brewery there???

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As somebody who has lived in this area for the last 20 years, if they put in a brewery but don’t serve alcohol there, I’m not going to be upset. But in no way should they be able to serve any alcohol in that area.

    But as noted, the streets back there are not designed for big trucks to be coming through.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. With the loss of income from ISU and the fact that Rivian will never make a vehicle, Normal needs to encourage businesses like bars, beer makers, gambling, and pot shops to locate there. I propose that they also start looking into attracting strip clubs to the town.

    Nothing says “Liberal Fun Town” like 3 or 4 strip clubs to go along with the bars, breweries, pot shops and gambling everywhere.

    We will have to just stop saying what we have been saying here for a long time: “This is a great place to raise kids”


  4. If you know someone who’s kids play pee wee soccer, football, baseball, go to any of the 3 schools or preschools or something else out there you need to tell them the public hearing window is now. If they have an opinion about a micro-brewery surrounded by children they need to write or call Pam Reece and the Mayor and tell them family values and our children’s safety means more than drinking alcohol.

    City Manager
    Pam Reece
    [email protected]
    (309) 454-9501

    Chris Koos
    [email protected]
    (309) 454-9777

    Oh, the town also wants the brewery to be allowed to have outside noisy events until 11pm. Remember the concerts at Redbird???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Public comments or community input in this community has been a farce for years. The powers only listen and highlight opinions that reflect there own. This decision, like all others, has already been made. If zoning is a problem, they will just rezone the property. The oligarchs could care less what you or I want or think. The Elitist Clique wins again.


  5. As someone who lives next to a brewery, that we tried to stop, this needs to be stopped now. We have constant frustration, smell of nasty rotting grain and cigarette smoke, noise from loud patrons, beer cans littered along constitution trail and just caught someone peeing in the neighbors yard this week. Now that the have increased outdoor seating because of Covid it has only increased the unfavorable conditions.


  6. You know you may have stumbled upon a workable compromise solution.The Africano building would be a much better site if the developer really wants to be in the neighborhood.

    It’s on Beech Street which can handle the traffic.. It’s near Heartland Theatre which would benefit both operations. It’s far enough removed from the park that it would solve that issue. And it’s on the edge of the other neighboring businesses as opposed to being in the middle of them. Plus we rid ourselves of the old infirmary which is an eyesore and one of the scariest old buildings in town.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This neighborhood is not the right fit for a brewery or a nano brewery. It was mentioned in the list of “thoughts “ from the brewery developer in another news story reported here on blnnewscom, that money from the Town of Normal TIF would be needed to upgrade the water situation. Isn’t the TIF connected somehow to taxes we pay ?? Do we really want our taxes to be raised again? Google nano brewery and /or brewery, they are expensive enterprises, we all know how our town likes to give incentives at our expense.


  7. Leave it to liberals to offer access to alcohol to children! I used to live in that neighborhood. It was a very quiet family friendly neighborhood. The microbrewery will change that .Next up: Set up a couple of bars outside of a meeting place for AA!


  8. As a life long resident, I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in the Mayor, our Town Council and our State Representative. Each of you were elected to serve your constituents – a fact that you have clearly forgotten. How is this micro-brewery in the best interest of not only this neighborhood but also the community. A small neighborhood, that is starting to once again fill up with young growing families is no place for a brewery, and I think each of you would agree. I also think we all know how this will play out … things will seem okay for awhile, but within a few years the long time residents of this charming, thriving neighborhood will leave. The family friendly environment will fade-away as many of the current establishments and attractions are replaced with similar inappropriate businesses, that in the long run, will fail leaving the community with negative equity. While there are areas of One Normal Plaza in need of improvement (I think we all know which areas), this impulsive rush to back-door this establishment against your constituents wishes is not the answer. We are living in very unpresidential times, in light of this, I think everyone needs to take a breath, reflect and really think about what this will mean for this community long term. Further, I think that the taxpayers dollars would be better invested in finishing what you have already started. Currently, there are units zoned for business sitting empty all over the Town of Normal, several which reside in Up-Town Normal. In closing, I implore all involved to revisit this decision and try to see how illogical this location is for a micro-brewery. Like you, I love the Town of Normal; there are many places in our Country that I love visiting, but there is no better place to live than, Normal, Illinois. Please keep this in mind as you move forward with a decision that will ultimately alter the desirability of what has been one of Normal’s thriving neighborhoods for well over sixty-years. My thoughts and prayers will be with each of you as you deliberate on this matter. It is my hope that you will choose wisely, not only because it’s what’s best for the community, but also, because it might restore, in some small way, my faith in each of you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s