Who needs village hall? Long Grove board to meet at brewery
With Buffalo Creek Brewing as the venue, Long Grove officials are hoping to draw a good crowd for the return of an annual meeting of the village board and homeowners association presidents.
Village President Bill Jacob, who took over the top post after an uncontested election in 2017, said he had a goal of restarting the session with the subdivision leaders, so they can learn firsthand about what's happening in town, ask questions and voice concerns.
Set for 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, the special board meeting will cover topics including economic development, the historic downtown and village finances.
In an effort to keep the evening conversational and relaxed, village trustees and Jacob agreed the best venue was Buffalo Creek Brewing, which opened in July. Using the craft brewery's taproom for the meeting popped up amid board chatter and was quickly embraced.
"Can we serve beer?" Jacob asked Village Attorney Betsy Gates-Alford.
Gates-Alford recommended the village not provide beer to those who attend the meeting. However, she added, there is nothing wrong with the visitors buying suds themselves.
"I don't think anything prevents you from buying everyone beer, but I don't think that's the direction we want to go," Gates-Alford told officials.
While unusual for a suburban village board to meet in a brewery or similar venue, such places occasionally host library programs.
Arlington Heights Memorial Library's Books and Brews series was at Eddie's Restaurant and Lounge on Northwest Highway on Nov. 15. Attendees bought their own beverages, but received free appetizers for Chicago sportscaster Chet Coppock's discussion on "If These Walls Could Talk: Chicago Bears," which he co-wrote with Otis Wilson, a linebacker on the Super Bowl XX championship team.
Long Grove Trustee Anne Kritzmire said Buffalo Creek Brewing is a nice space and the meeting with the association leaders would be a good reason for residents to visit if they have not been there.
Trustee Chuck Nora cited other potential benefits.
"I think it'll be much more informal and maybe people will open up a little bit more." Nora said.
Jacob said the last homeowners association gathering hosted by Long Grove government occurred during the tenure of Maria Rodriguez, who stepped aside after eight years as village president in 2013. Tony Dean, village president from 2001 to 2005, is credited with starting the sessions.