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Council approves liquor license for new tavern at the old Secrets Lounge location

PEORIA (WEEK) – Peoria City Council unanimously approved a liquor license for a new lounge on 1801 SW Adams St.; the former site for Secrets Lounge.

Documents submitted to the city show the tavern would be called Della’s Lounge; featuring live bands, DJ’s, karaoke, and other entertainment. Food options would include flatbreads and wings. The new owner of the building, Tremayne Branch, also owns Rumberger’s on Main St.

The decision comes after some members of the liquor commission and neighboring businesses expressed opposition to another alcohol establishment coming to the address. Minutes from a recent meeting between the liquor commission, council member Denise Moore, and the business owner explain the opposition.

Peoria’s chairman of the liquor commission, Mike Miller, said there was a petition to oppose the new lounge based on concerns about the neighborhood. Lots of discussion focused on how previous bars at this location were run.

Those opposed to the new lounge include Pierre Serafin, the owner of UFS. Meeting minutes show Serafin said previous businesses had brought “negative press” to the area south of MacArthur Ave., adding, “alcohol and late night clubs contributed to poor publicity.”

In response, Branch’s attorney said his client, “had been in business for several years, at multiple locations, without any incidents of violence.”

He went on to say Branch has a “track record” of turning places around for the better.

Last week, we spoke to councilwoman Moore who echoed that opinion.

“I need someone to go into this site that has that kind of history, that can turn around a troubled location,” she said.

In meeting minutes, it states Branch’s intentions for Della’s Lounge is to create a more relaxed atmospheres. He said he removed the lounge’s dance floor and put in couches and pub tables.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Serafin said he accepts the city’s decision to move forward with the lounge and work with the business to make the neighborhood better.

The council also agreed to have a policy session to discuss how they plan to address future liquor license requests in this area, and how to better handle them.

Molly Jirasek

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