Janesville49.3°

Town of Whitewater residents asked to weigh in on alcohol sales

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Kayla Bunge
April 1, 2010
— Jeff Widner has plans to expand his marina on the northeast side of Whitewater Lake to include a restaurant, and he wants to be able to serve beer, wine and cocktails with meals.

But he is unable to expand the business until he can secure the appropriate licenses.


Widner, owner of JNT's Marine Pros, which has three locations near the lake, petitioned for a referendum asking voters if the town should issue licenses for the retail sale of beer.


"I'm just looking to have a place right on the lake for people to go and have a nice lunch or dinner and have alcohol with their meal if they want," he said.


Dick Kraus, owner of the Fuzzy Pig, petitioned for a referendum in 2006 asking voters if the town should issue licenses for the retail sale of beer, wine and intoxicating liquor, but voters defeated all three referendum questions. He petitioned again in 2008, and voters approved only two of the referendum questions.


The town is able to issue licenses for the sale and consumption of wine and intoxicating liquor on the premises, but it is not able to issue licenses for the sale and consumption of beer both on and off the premises.


Widner said people often stop by his marina and ask where they can get food and drinks nearby. He said he routinely tells people there are few places to go.


Widner said he has support from year-round and seasonal residents. He said being able to serve beer along with wine and cocktails would ensure the success of his plan for a lakeside restaurant.



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