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New bar coming to historically dry part of Racine

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A drink hasn’t been poured in West Racine in close to 100 years.

“Historically this has been the one dry part of town,” Racine Mayor Cory Mason, said.

In 1935, after Prohibition, Racine decided to keep three areas alcohol-free. One of those areas included West Racine, but it is not going to be dry much longer.

In 2017, Racine overturned the 1935 ordinance, and Tuesday night the first bar got the green light from Racine’s Public Safety and Licensing Committee to start pouring drinks.

“I think it will give a little more commerce, a little more interest to the area,” Bar Owner John Dunk said. “I think it will be great. I’m really excited.”

Dunk and his son Ben will be opening a bar on Washington Avenue in an old finance building. They have already bought the building and hope to have the bar up and running by mid-January.

“It’ll be a bar with a grill,” John Dunk said. “It will be a lot of fun”

The father-son duo is no stranger to the bar biz in Racine. They owned the bar/restaurant John’s Dock for more than nine years. John said they had to close in September when their landlord decided to sell the building.

“Customers from John’s Dock became family throughout the years,” Ben Dunk said. “They were sad to see it go, we were sad to see it go. We’re just excited to have them all back and start something new.”

Mayor Mason says he expects the liquor license to pass through city council on Tuesday.

“West Racine is one of the best neighborhoods we have, so in addition to being able to enjoy great coffee, or great Kringle, or some of the other great things we have to offer in Racine, now there’ll be a bar that they can enjoy there too.” Mayor Mason said.

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