A local distillery plans to add outdoor service and tastings to its offerings.
Wondertucky Distillery & Bottling Co., 315 E. South St., will be allowed to host outdoor seating and on-site consumption of its products after the City Council modified the distillery’s liquor license Aug. 1.
Previously, Wondertucky’s B-9 license allowed for the sale of packaged liquor and sampling only.
David Cunningham, president and CEO of Wondertucky, told city officials the change could encourage tour groups to visit the craft distillery, which specializes in clear corn whiskey and bourbon. Wondertucky isn’t a stop on tours such as the Northern Illinois Bourbon Trail because of restrictions on on-site consumption, Cunningham said.
“[Cunningham] is concerned about other distilleries having this opportunity when they don’t have this opportunity,” Mayor Brian Sager said.
Not all City Council members supported the change, which passed 5-1. Councilman Jim Prindiville, who cast the lone no vote, said he was concerned about the distillery’s location, which is near homes and a five-way intersection slated to become a roundabout.
“I think it’s a bad location in the city of Woodstock to have this sort of venue. … This is a very residential area,” Prindiville said. “This is also a street and an intersection where there’s a lot of children going to school, and there’s a lot of families from the residential areas coming downtown.”
The change to Wondertucky’s liquor license places limits on when and how much customers can consume. Only people participating in tours will be allowed to order alcohol to drink on site, and they can’t be served more than two 12-ounce mixed drinks. Tours must end at 8 p.m. Sundays, 10 p.m. Thursdays and midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
Wondertucky will fence off an area just outside its building and add tables for outdoor service, according to city documents. The area will be used by tour groups.
Councilman Mike Turner said he supported the request but wanted to keep “a laser eye” on the business in case any problems arise.
“It’s an admittedly quirky request,” Turner said. “The thing about Wondertucky is, it is something that has been homegrown. … I like the fact that it’s ‘local businessman makes good.’ I like the unusual quirkiness of it.”