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Peoria Liquor Commission gives thumbs up to new Binny’s location

After being empty for almost a year, a storefront at West Lake Shopping Center, the old location of Fresh Market, could soon be the home of major liquor retailer, Binny’s Beverage Depot.

The liquor outlet has over 40 locations, the closest’s currently being in Bloomington.

A family owned since the 1940’s the owner of the shopping center said Binny’s will be the perfect addition.

“They are not only a regional local hometown hero in the sense of their Chicago base in Illinois but nationally they’re known as the superstore of retail.” said Les Cohen, President of Cohen Development Company.

With 5 votes in favor from Peoria Liquor Commission, it now moves to the Peoria City Council for approval.

“I think it will be a really good addition to the city and I think the council will vote for it. I’m sure they’re looking at bringing in more tax dollars to an empty store front right now.” said Mike Miller, Chairman for the liquor commission.

The CEO of Binny’s said it is not only a store, but an experience.

“We’re here to offer selection, hence our tag line, ‘ If you can’t find it at Binny’s it’s probably not worth drinking.’ So we will offer over 15,000 different wine, spirits, and beer.” said Michael Binstein, CEO and Owner of Binny’s Beverage Depot.

Meanwhile, local liquor stores are weary of the new competition, but Peoria Staple UFS said they have incentives to keep customers coming.

“When Peoria enacted a 2 % liquor tax we gave everybody a 2 1/2 % rebate that Binny’s isn’t doing.”  said UFS Store Manager Gerard Wiegand

Residents at the meeting voiced concerns about the addition of another liquor store without addressing the void left by the departure of Fresh Market.

“It’s not mutually exclusive with a grocery store. We’re not done yet with this next phase of re positioning. We continue to work on redeveloping plans for the shopping center and who know it might include a grocery store.” said Les Cohen.

The CEO told me that if all goes according to plan this location will be open as soon as Labor Day and would hire 30 individuals for the opening and gradually hire more.

Kaitlin Pearson

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