State board to rule on fate of Indiana Dunes liquor license

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By: Jon Zimney

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State officials will review a local board’s decision to deny a liquor license to a politically connected developer who plans a restaurant and bar at Indiana Dunes State Park.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Commission on Tuesday will consider whether to uphold a September decision by a Porter County liquor control board to deny a license to Chuck Williams. Whatever the board deciders, Williams can appeal.

Indiana law gives local authorities considerable sway over permitting alcohol sales.

Williams wants to refurbish an existing pavilion to bring a restaurant, bar and banquet hall to the state park along Lake Michigan.

Williams is a high-ranking state Republican Party official who has donated thousands of dollars to GOP causes. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources approved his plan, but environmentalists opposed it.