INDIANAPOLIS | A House committee made Whiting the sole beneficiary of a plan allowing additional liquor licenses at new restaurants adjacent to Lake Michigan.
The panel voted 12-1 Wednesday to change Senate Bill 173 by limiting the number of new alcohol sales licenses to six, requiring the licenses be auctioned with a minimum bid of $10,000 and allowing the licenses be issued only to lakeside restaurants in the city of Whiting.
Prior to the change, the legislation would have allowed an unlimited number of new, free liquor licenses at restaurants located within three blocks of Lake Michigan along the entirety of the state's lakefront.
State Rep. Bill Davis, R-Portland, who chairs the House Public Policy Committee, said he supports the effort to develop the Whiting lakefront with new restaurants and other attractions.
However, Davis said he doesn't want to eliminate all lakeside alcohol permit limits between Indiana's borders with Illinois and Michigan.
Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura is seeking the legislation, which now goes to the full House, because he said the city's limited number of existing alcohol permits is not enough to meet the expected future demand of lakefront restaurants.