Plans to reopen, remodel longtime Lake Bluff restaurant

Plans to reopen and remodel Scooters, a longtime hot dog stand in unincorporated Lake Bluff, are up in the air after the Lake County Liquor Control Commission denied the ownership group’s application for a liquor license Monday.

The restaurant, which celebrated 30 years of business in 2016, closed later that year.

Jeff Glogovsky, who owns the property and a handful of gas stations in Illinois, wants to relaunch Scooters in a new building with an expanded menu. The setup would offer breakfast, lunch and dinner options, as well as the hot dogs and hamburgers that kept locals coming back for years.

He said a liquor license is crucial in order to be able to profitably relaunch.

Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart, who heads up the four-member Liquor Control Commission, referred to citations for Glogovsky’s neighboring Shell gas station for selling to minors in 2013, 2016 and 2018, as she announced the commission’s decision to deny the license.

“In weighing all the evidence and the aggregating and mitigating factors, and assessing the witness’ credibility, including but not limited to the following, which are the prior sales to minors and the credibility of the applicant, I am denying Scooters’ application for a Class A and B liquor license in a written order to follow,” she said.

Glogovsky said he fired employees who sold alcohol to minors and overhauled the system through which his businesses ID for alcohol, requiring IDs to be scanned by computer to allow sales instead of being reviewed for authenticity by the cashier.

“I’m on your team,” Glogovsky said. “I don’t need to sell to a minor and make 50 cents.”

Brian Popp, one of Glogovsky’s business partners, also expressed disappointment. Popp has publicly commented at several Lake County Board meetings in 2022, urging board members to approve the group’s application.

“It’s a shame,” Popp said. “I feel like every time I’m over there, someone is stopping by asking if we’re going to reopen soon. We, frankly, haven’t been able to because we’ve been going through this process for years now to no avail.”

Charlie Green, who said he is a longtime Lake Bluff resident, spoke in favor of the application.

“You get tired of going to the same places all the time,” he said. “Having a new menu and a new place is much better than looking at an old, dilapidated building that is sitting there.”

A village administrator from Lake Bluff also commented that village President Regis Charlot wanted to comment on the matter, but was out of town.

The Liquor Control Commission did approve license applications for a Mobil gas station in unincorporated Lake Bluff and for the Illinois Beach Hotel in unincorporated Zion on Monday.