Sunday dining restriction looms over Red Vest

The Rockford City Council heard from a local “mainstay” business over a recent restriction that may hinder its existence, at its August 28 meeting.

Due to a relatively new law regarding liquor establishments in the state, the popular “Red Vest” is under fire and suffering financially by not being able to meet the demand.

The City of Rockford, in accordance with state law, amended an ordinance requiring that restaurants serving alcohol on Sundays to offer a full menu. This, the owners of the Red Vest (on Bridge St. in downtown Rockford) explained in a letter dated Aug. 23 to council and staff, is not an affordable option for the family run business, which had been operating in Rockford for 35-years. Recent Sunday closings (effective July 1) have cost the business thousands of dollars in lost revenue and put it in a precarious financial situation.

The Red Vest serves frozen pizza, which does not meet the new regulations. Bringing its kitchen up to code to serve a full menu is an expense the owners do not believe they can afford.

Owners Loyal and Nola Staskivige were in attendance at the Aug. 28 meeting. The council was sympathetic to the situation, but is not aware, at this time, of any action they can take to alleviate the restriction.

In other news, the Rockford Area Food Cooperative effort moves forward in attempting to secure membership and funding, hosting a “Dancing under the Stars” event in Riverside Park Saturday, Sept. 15.

Volunteers have been working to bring a food cooperative to the area in lieu of continued unsuccessful attempts to entice a full service grocer. Community surveys conclude that residents both want, and would support, a local business of this type, but increased membership is needed to get it off the ground.

More information is available by contacting Nancy at the Rockford City Hall, 763-477-6565.

The next regular meeting of the Rockford City Council is Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. at the Rockford City Hall, 6031 Main St.