INDIANAPOLIS | The owner of a central Indiana bar was the winning bidder for one of the six new alcohol sale permits designated for Whiting lakefront restaurants.
Annette F. Church bid $10,000, the minimum required by law, for a license to sell beer, wine and liquor at a Whiting restaurant within three blocks of Lake Michigan.
Church said she's interested in opening a family oriented restaurant to attract both Whiting residents and visitors.
"We'll have to get with some developers and see what's going on up there," Church said. "It's up-and-coming, and I think they're doing a lot of good things on the lakefront."
Church owns Beer:30 Bar and Grill in Camby, which is southeast of Indianapolis in Hendricks County. She said she has worked in bars and restaurants her entire life and makes a point of being involved in the local community.
Aside from the Whiting permit, Church also was winning bidder for restaurant alcohol permits in the southern Indiana cities of Seymour, Rockport and Fredericksburg.
She has 30 days to pay the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission for the permits she won at Friday's auction. She also must be approved by the Lake County Alcoholic Beverage Board to put the Whiting permit into use.
Church said she likely will escrow the permit until the Whiting lakefront project is complete. State law prohibits holding the permit for resale.
Whiting Mayor Joe Stahura was out of the office Friday and could not be reached for comment. The mayor previously said he expected few bidders at the first auction of the new permits because the city has yet to acquire properties for the new restaurants.
State lawmakers awarded Whiting six additional alcohol permits earlier this year after Stahura explained the limited number of permits available based on Whiting's population was impeding new businesses eager to serve BP office employees.
The state alcohol commission will re-auction the remaining Whiting permits at a later date.