McLean County Board OKs zoning for Green Gables beer garden

Bloomington — Customers will be able to dine outside in the beer garden after the Green Gables restaurant, which burned down in May, is rebuilt.

On Thursday, the McLean County Commission accepted a special permit request to allow beer gardens at its final meeting for 2022. County staff also recommended that the request be approved at a hearing earlier this month.

The McLean County Zoning Appeals Board has already approved two differences allowing the parking lot and porch of the Lake Bloomington Landmark to be within 40 feet of the county road adjacent to the site.

If those requests were not approved, the owners said it would be difficult to rebuild the nearly 100-year-old restaurant. However, with the consent of the board of directors, the owners hope to break ground this spring.

McLean County Board Chairman John McIntyre said the board also renewed Green Gables’ liquor license, which was required to obtain a license to operate video gambling machines.

“Things are going well and construction will go well,” McIntyre said.

The beer garden is 36′ x 36′ and is fenced. According to county documents, it is accessible through the restaurant and has an exit through the parking garage gate.

Since the fire, multiple fundraising efforts have been made to help rebuild Green Gables.

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