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BLOOMINGTON - Those who want a beer to go with their hot dogs and hockey are a little closer to having the opportunity, now that the Bloomington Liquor Commission approved a license for the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.

The commission voted unanimously to recommend a restaurant liquor license that will allow the sale of all types of alcohol by the glass be issued to Game Time Food and Beverage, the concession manager of the building.

The license will be forwarded to the Bloomington City Council for its consideration at its Feb. 27 meeting.

If the license is issued, there will be a few minor restrictions to the license, such as serving times, locations and the availability of family seating areas where alcohol would not be allowed.

Commissioners seemed to struggle with how best to regulate the sale and premises where alcohol would be sold.

The $37 million Coliseum, 101 S. Madison St., is nearing completion. The building's opening is set for March 31.

"We need to determine the areas where you want to sell from and the types of alcohol," said Mark Gibson, commission member. "This is uncharted territory for us."

Brian Klassman, president of Game Time, said he anticipated sales from alcohol would be a small part of the food service revenues.

"The food is really where we want to provide the experience and the alcohol is there only to complement that experience," Klassman said.

While there will be multiple locations for beer and wine concessions in the building, there will be only three locations where hard liquor will be available: the restaurant, the VIP clubroom and club boxes.

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