WESTVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Some people in Westville are upset about recent events near one bar and wanted their voices heard. But that wasn’t the case at what was supposed to be a public hearing Friday.

Sophia Stefani’s Tavern has some strict rules to follow for the next couple of weeks. People have complained that crime in the area is linked to the business. And the village is hoping their decision will be enough to combat the problem.

“I would have liked to have seen that completely revoked. But instead, this has happened.”

They said because of all the trouble Sophia Stefani’s Tavern has been causing, it doesn’t deserve a license at all.

“It’s a real thing that we’re dealing with these days in general, but it’s never been something that Westville has had to face.”

“The trouble that’s been coming, loitering, dangerous like running across the highway with liquor beyond the shooting that just happened.

Nicole Laughner lives close to the bar and she said their problems have been affecting her family.

“I stay up late just to make sure that nothing is going in our yard.”

Neighbors said they’ve had issues with Sophia’s for more than a year now, but a recent shooting and street fight close to the business sent them over the edge. The shooting happened around midnight on the 18th. One of those bullets went through Loni Hale’s business across the street.

“I’m very unhappy and I think I speak for everyone generally who was at this meeting.”

The mayor, Mike Weese, the owner, and their attorneys came up with a plan prior to the public hearing. In addition to their liquor license suspension, their opening hours will be limited, and they’ll have increased security requirements. Mayor Weese said he understands the frustration.

But if the people want more to be done, they’ll have to speak up and show proof of wrongdoing.

“I get a lot of phone calls telling me what’s going on. Will you sign an affidavit to that, swear to that? No, we don’t want to get involved. What do you have then… Same thing.”

He said a complete revocation could’ve been on the table, but without proof, it could’ve been appealed, and the problems could have continued throughout the process.

“Community members need to continue to put pressure on the village.”  

“It’ll slow him down a little bit and hopefully he takes care of his own place. That’s what needs to happen, and we’ll keep an eye on it. And if he does it again, we could look at revocation.”

The village is encouraging people with concerns about the bar or who have information about illegal activity there to give an official statement.