Board denies longer hours for taverns
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURNâ€”The Elburn Village Board on Monday granted only one of two businesses’ requests for longer liquor-sale hours on Sunday.
The board approved a liquor-code change that will allow Class F businesses, including Hughes Creek Golf Club, to sell alcohol starting at 8 a.m. on Sundays. Club manager Heather Espe recently requested the change so that golfers could purchase an alcoholic beverage during early Sunday morning games at the club. Previously, the liquor code required Class F license holders to wait until noon to sell alcohol.
The board passed the liquor-code change 5-1, with Trustee Gordon Dierschow voting no. Dierschow said he did not feel comfortable expanding the Sunday liquor-sales hours for a business that rents its site from a taxing body. Hughes Creek rents the club property from the Kane County Forest Preserve.
The board turned down a request from Kevin Schmidt, owner of Schmidt’s Towne Tap, for an ordinance change that would allow his bar and other Class A license holders to sell alcohol starting at 11 a.m. on Sundays rather than noon, so that football-watchers could buy drinks before the Sunday game kickoffs. The vote was 3-3, with trustees Bill Grabarek, Patricia Romke, and Ken Anderson voted against it. Village President Dave Anderson declined to cast a tie-breaking vote, recusing himself from both the discussion and the vote, citing a possible conflict of interest. Due to the tie vote, the measure failed to pass.
Grabarek cited his concern about the proximity of the downtown bars to churches. Romke declined to comment.
Trustee Anderson cited his concern about Schmidt’s and two other bars’ May 20 violation of the liquor code. Illinois State Police arrested bar servers for selling alcohol to minors during an undercover sting that day at Schmidt’s, Rosati’s and Riley’s American Bar & Grill.
â€œWe issued four new licenses this year. Three were clipped for selling to underage buyers,â€ Trustee Anderson said. â€œI would personally like to see that resolved first.â€
The taverns face possible fines of $500 or more from the state for those violations, but the village has not penalized the bars for the local violations.
Kevin Schmidt said he did not think the vote was fair or smart.
â€œYou can drink out there (at Hughes Creek) at 8 a.m. but not uptown at 11 a.m.,â€ Schmidt said.