Indiana panel approves liquor license for Dunes pavilion

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana commission has approved a liquor license for a politically connected businessman’s restaurant and bar development at Indiana Dunes State Park.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Commission voted 4-0 Tuesday to grant liquor licenses for dozens of entities, including Pavilion Partners’ project to bring a restaurant, bar and banquet hall to the lakefront park that features towering sand dunes.

That license was approved under a state law passed this year that allows the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to obtain alcohol permits for its parks without most of the usual requirements.

That law circumvented Porter County officials’ rejection last year of Pavilion Partners’ initial request for an alcohol permit.

Opponents of Valparaiso businessman Chuck Williams’ project contend it’s a sell-off of public land that should be free of commercial interests.

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