Vice District Brewing nearing opening in Homewood

  H-F area craft beer fans 
  might not have much 
  longer to wait for the 
  opening of Vice District. 
  After clearing a number of 
  unforeseen hurdles, the 
  brewery and taproom 
  is slated to open at the 
  end of August.
(Photo 
  by Eric Crump/H-F 
  Chronicle)
 
After more than two years, Vice District Brewing appears to be closing in on an opening for its Homewood location. Village Manager Jim Marino confirmed the business’s liquor license will be on the agenda for the July 24 board of trustees meeting.

Vice District is hoping to hold a grand opening on Aug. 31. Tickets will be sold for the event, which will include beer, a tour and other items. A portion of the proceeds will go to a local non-profit, owner Curtis Tarver II said. 

Tarver said the work left to be done on the building at 18027-18029 Dixie Highway should take about a week. 
 
Vice District hoped to have the license on the July 10 meeting agenda, but he said Homewood officials asked him to clear up a few smaller construction issues. 
 
The village board first approved $100,000 in non-TIF business incentive funds for Vice District in September 2016, aimed at helping with construction costs. That incentive stipulated that work would be completed within six months.
 
A 12-month extension was granted in March 2017 and another for six more months in June 2018. 
 
Tarver said the delays have been in getting permits from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District. The building’s water line was inadequate for both brewing and the emergency sprinkler system. A higher capacity water line required excavation under Dixie Highway with approval from IDOT, Tarver said.
 
TCBSD issued a connection permit to Vice District in August of 2016. A discharge permit is also needed, which requires a sample of wastewater once the brewery begins making beer, TCBSD Trustee Ray Robertson said.*
 
Tarver said Vice District Brewing paid almost $54,000 in property taxes without any revenue because of the delays. He also spent $33,000 on an interest-only loan that can’t be converted into a conventional loan until construction is complete.
 
Once Vice gets liquor license approval from the Homewood village board, it can apply for a license with the state. 
 
“I can't tell you how long (it will take for) the state to provide us a license to manufacture beer. However, we expect a pretty quick turnaround,” Tarver said. “Everyone has known about this project for a while.”
 
Getting a state license usually takes between one and five days, according to the Illinois Liquor Commission website.
 
Vice District has begun posting on social media asking for "beer tender" applicants for the Homewood taproom. Those interested can email resumes to [email protected].

Editor's note: Originally, the story included language suggesting Thorn Creek Basin Sanitary District contributed to the delay in opening the brewery.

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