I attend many meetings each week serving as Village President, and last night I had two of them back to back. Early in the evening I attended the annual meeting of the Long Grove Business and Community Partners, best described as our historic downtown chamber of commerce. This group of dedicated volunteers is made up of merchants, residents, and property owners, who are responsible for organizing the major festivals held in Long Grove each year. In addition, they sponsor community events such as Irish Days, Do-it-Yourself Scarecrows, holiday carriage rides & carolers, and (new this year!) Craft Beer Days and Vintage Days. I don’t make it to their meetings every month but when I do, I am always amazed and appreciative of the time and energy these volunteers give to make our downtown something special–the “Long Grove” most visitors know and love.
2015 showed a positive upward trend for our downtown restaurants and many shops; proceeds for the organization are up as well. Nine new businesses opened last year including a new wine bar and two shops specializing in vintage decor. Currently we have 54 businesses in our historic downtown: (7) dining, (29) retail, and (18) service, including fine art and performing art schools. Opening soon is the highly anticipated Village Pizza & Ribs, and the Apple House will be making a comeback later this spring to the delight of many. My previous blog post on this went viral with over 4,500 shares and likes! See the link below for an article by Ronnie Wachter of the Chicago Tribune including an interview with the new tenant, John Bell:
Mary Ann Ullrich, owner of the Village Tavern, was excited to tell me of the recent upgrades she has been able to make to her business, made possible with the proceeds of their video gaming machines. I plan to stop by soon to check out the beautiful new carpeting. In addition to the board members pictured above, I want to give a shout-out to newly elected board members Paul Neumann of Viking Treasures and Matthew Potempa of Scout & Forge. They join President Ryan Messner, Treasurer Marsha Forsythe, Barbara Dibble, and Pam Sintetas. I know this team has great plans for 2016 and we heard a few preliminary details last night. Our recent community survey showed that Long Grove residents are in agreement by a large majority in their desire to see our downtown revitalized. My spirits were lifted with hopes for the future after leaving the LGBCP Annual meeting.
From there, I headed to Village Hall to preside over the twice-monthly Village Board meeting. An acrimonious discussion ensued over an agenda item. Luckily, despite what was predicted on the internet, I did not have to break a tie when the vote came around. But by all accounts it was ugly. A Tale of Two Meetings.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”–Charles Dickens