Byline: Bob Susnjara Daily Herald Staff Writer
Questions related to alcohol's role in society are coming into play as a Gurnee ice rink seeks permission to serve beer and wine to all patrons of legal age on a daily basis.
Rink Side Sports & Family Entertainment Center in Gurnee Mills began serving wine and beer only for corporate and private parties in 1999. Gurnee village board members expressed some reluctance but granted the request a couple of months after the facility opened.
Now, Rink Side is asking the village to let it sell beer and wine in restaurant eating areas and not just the private party room. Rink Side, in a letter to the village, said it wants to provide more service for its patrons.
However, some Gurnee officials say they are cool to Rink Side's idea, especially because the facility touted how it wanted to appeal to families before it opened.
"In order to have fun, do you have to drink?" asked Trustee Kristina Kovarik. Trustee Verna Rocheleau said children are around alcohol enough without having it near them at an ice rink, which also has a large arcade designed for young visitors.
Rink Side general manager John Nielsen could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Support for Rink Side's proposal did come from the director of marketing at East Dundee's Polar Dome Ice Arena, which has served alcohol in a restaurant setting since 1963.
Polar Dome's Grant Dahlke said wine and beer do not prevent his facility from attracting a family crowd. …