Club 307 Owner Looking To Reopen As Tavern

By Maggie Vespa

June 6, 2011 Updated Jun 7, 2011 at 11:47 AM CDT

It first made headlines in April of last year as a headquarters for an underground culture in Central Illinois- swingers.

Almost two months ago, the city of Peoria shut down Club 307.

Monday, the club's owner appealed to the city for another shot- a chance to keep it and another business of his running, but on a different path.

Call it 'a change in game plan.'

Monday afternoon at Peoria City Hall, owner of Club 307, Dan Laud, asked the city liquor commission to approve the site, which sits across the street from O'Brien Field, for a Class K license.

That would allow Laud to use 307 as a rental hall, and as a tavern in conjunction with nighttime events, like Chiefs games.

But commissioner Don Jackson says Laud seemed to withhold the second half of that proposal.

A city investigator eventually disclosed the plans to use the site as a tavern, just before the vote.

"They should have come forward from the beginning with that information, instead of 'Oh by the way.' For that reason, I thought they were being a little less than candid," he said.

Nevertheless, the commission approved the item 4-1.

"I think it goes back to the overused term 'the Wrigleyville theme.' You know, you're giving people a place to come hang out and giving it a more festive feel," said commissioner Andrew Cassidy.

But that wasn't all.

Laud, who declined to go on camera, also applied for a site approval for a class A tavern license for his other business- Brown Bag Video.

It sits next door to Club 307.

This one, the commission denied, largely because Laud said he did not have a tenant lined up to run the would-be sports bar.

Commissioners called it risky.

"To take that particular location and just say 'well, give me a bar with a 2 a.m., and I don't know what we're going to put in there,'... I'm just not ready to tie up that property that way," said Cassidy.

In the end, commissioners encouraged Laud to pursue plans with both sites, adding it's the importance of that prime location, not the site's history, that gives them cause for concern.

Peoria City Council members are expected to vote on the commission's recommendations at their next meeting on June 28th.

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