New bar potentially coming to Sherrard sparks debate

SHERRARD, Ill.-- People were piling in, all coming to hear the talk of the town. The issue on the table was whether or not to allow a businessman to open a new bar in Sherrard, Illinois.

As the current village ordinance stands, Sherrard is maxed out in the number of liquor licenses they can have. Right now they have two licenses and two bars.

Terry Peterson owns two bars in the Quad Cities area. He bought a vacant building in the Sherrard downtown at 311 3rd Street in hopes to open his new bar there.

If the bar gets approved, the city will have to also vote to amend the liquor license ordinance to allow for another license, or for one that allows a business to sell on the premises and do carry out liquor and beer sales.

But at the heart of debate is competition worries.

The two bars currently in town are owned by the same person. The worry is in a town with a population of 640 people, bringing in another could hurt the bars currently there.

Others see competition as a solution.

"Nobody likes competition, but competition is good because it keeps people on their toes. And it keeps businesses honest," says Peterson.

Some community members are thinking outside city limits.

"We have 640 people here, we have 600 out in Fyre Lake. We have the surrounding areas. You want these people to come to your community," says community member Curt Green.

Others worry the small town wouldn't be able to provide necessary security needed to monitor three drinking establishments. But others see the addition as an opportunity for growth.

"Let's get this town moving in a positive way, and who knows? You might need another one here in five years," says another community member.

On Thursday night, the board wrote a recommendation to grant an additional license to the potential new bar owner. A special meeting will be held sometime next week to make that decision final.