Illinois Dutch Village, Established 1894, Embraces Alcohol For First Time


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SOUTH HOLLAND, IL — Breaking a century-old tradition, South Holland, Illinois has uncorked a new chapter in its history. The village, steeped in a legacy of sobriety since its founding in 1894 by Dutch Reformed settlers, has shaken off its “dry” status. 

This seismic shift comes as the first-ever liquor license was granted this month, ushering in a wave of culinary evolution that has been years in the making.

Blueberry Field Pancake House & Restaurant is now the torchbearer of this transformation, raising its glasses to serve mimosas alongside their breakfast fare. The tantalizing prospect of enjoying a glass of wine with dinner or savoring a beer with pizza has long been an aspiration for South Holland residents, who have tirelessly advocated for an ordinance change.

Venturing into uncharted territories, the Village Board embarked on a five-year odyssey of dialogue, engaging church, civic, business, and neighborhood leaders. Their objective was clear: sculpt an ordinance that mirrored the community’s evolving ethos. Following countless meetings, the resounding consensus echoed progress, prompting the village to relinquish its long-standing stance.

Unswerving in their commitment to faith and family values, South Holland’s leaders concluded that adaptation need not dilute identity. A resolute decision emerged: alcohol would find a home in designated pockets of the town, provided it remained inseparable from food.

This paradigm shift traces its origins back to a bygone era, when developers envisioned a hotel and restaurant venture along the expressway. The proposal’s fate was sealed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the community to ponder the possibilities that lay dormant.

Mayor Don De Graff encapsulated the essence of this transformation, stating, “South Holland remains anchored in faith, family, and our enduring legacy. Our march toward progress harmonizes seamlessly with our unwavering values.”

South Holland’s long-standing identity as a bastion of sobriety, reinforced by its title as the “Onion Set Capital of the World,” is now met with a refreshing breeze of change. The village’s unflinching commitment to its heritage remains unwavering, even as it embraces newfound horizons and a spirited future.


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