Aviator Lounge will NOT Re-Open This Weekend

- Rockford- Aviator Lounge will not open this weekend. Despite the advertisements on their website promoting a grand opening, bar owner Brandon Barnes says that’s not happening.

Barnes says “the city added in a new stipulation over the phone that after the hearing. They added in a stipulation saying if they can’t have our lease going on for the next year, they’re not going to give us our liquor license.”

But that’s not going to be easy. Their landlord will not grant them a new lease.

Barnes says “he’s complicating things because he wants to see what’s going on with all the police attention. He claims he wants to take the bar in a different direction.”

Barnes says he’s fixed the problems the cited him for. He and his wife Shanta filed an appeal with the state to get the hearing overturned from last week that suspended their liquor license.

When the bar re-opens, the city ruled it has to close at midnight for the first six months. Barnes says that would hurt the business, but city officials feel it’s fair.

Rockford’s 9th Ward Alderman Teena Newburg says “maybe if we put this at 12, that would cut down on some of the disturbances and he could get a better control of the crowd as they’re leaving.”

And while Barnes feels the city is targeting his bar, Alderman Newburg feels the suspension could help the business in the long run.

Newburg “it’s now a chance for him to prove that he’s able to run a safe, nice, fun lounge.”

Barnes says the state told him they can not look into overturning the hearing unless they have their license.

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