City adds liquor license for new Sterling steakhouse

Council also waives license fees so craft beer business can switch from package to a full-service tap room without paying twice

Luxx, a new steak, pasta and seafood restaurant, is planned for where the former Sandy's restaurant was located in the Mertes Center along Lincolnway in Sterling.

STERLING – A new steakhouse is coming to town, and it will be owned by a man from a family who knows food.

Olloman “Sonny” Dalipi, 24, is opening Luxx, a fine-dining steak, pasta and seafood restaurant at 4001 E. Lincolnway, in a spot once home to Sandy’s Restaurant, and most recently to a title cash company.

Luxx, opening soon, also will serve “fine wines and hand-crafted cocktails,” according to its Facebook page.

That’s thanks to a vote Monday night by the City Council amending the liquor ordinance to add a license for Luxx, while also waiving the fees to accommodate a change to a craft beer shop’s business plan.

Olloman’s restauranteuring family, the Dalipis, are well-known to Sauk Valley diners.

His father, Mike, and his uncle, Dan, have owned the Corner Spot at 510 Chicago Ave. in Dixon nearly 15 years, and his dad and mom, Judy, opened Route 40 Cafe at 14 Washington St. in Milledgeville in May 2019.

In 2015, Mike and Judy took ownership of The Spot in Northland Mall in Sterling from Mike’s father, Benny, who opened it in 2006, renaming it the Kopper Kitchen. It closed in July 2019.

Mike and Dan also owned what was then M&D’s Sports Bar and Grill at 707 Freeport Road in Sterling, which they opened in 2007 and sold in 2010. It’s now Johnny’s Bar & Grill.

Mike’s cousin, Mili Dalipi, has co-owned the Basil Tree Ristorante building in downtown Dixon since August 2007; it opened in January 2009.

Also Monday, the council voted to allow the owners of Crafted Roots to change their liquor license from a package license to a tavern license, without having to pay another $7,500 fee.

Crafted Roots owners Goff Devine, left, and Brandon McDaniel opened their craft beer bottle shop Jan. 6, 2023, at 312 Light St. in downtown Sterling.

Owners Goff Devine and Brandon McDaniel opened the craft beer bottle shop Jan. 6 at 312 Light St. downtown. At the time, they paid $7,500 for the package license and a background check.

The current ordinance required they pay that fee all over again because they were seeking a new type of license, one that will allow them to operate a full-service tap room.

The Liquor Commission agreed to ask the council to waive that fee, however, since it’s been less than a year since they got the first one, and the background check still is good.

Now Crafted Roots customers not only can buy a variety of craft ales in single cans or custom four-packs of their favorite brews, but they also can drink them on site – hopefully, soon at a new location a few doors down, McDaniel said.

McDaniel and Devine also occasionally offer specialty mixed drinks and neat pours of whiskey or bourbon.

For information, call 815-499-2398 or visit their Facebook page.

Have a Question about this article?
Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.