How Would You Like to Have the First Tavern License in Oak Park, Illinois?

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The Chicago Tribune reported today that the Village of Oak Park Illinois is looking in to allowing businesses with no food service to serve alcohol. This would be a HUGE change and big opportunity for new businesses in Oak Park.

Oak Park has had a long history of strict liquor control. The Village was established in 1902 and remained completely dry until 1973 when the Village allowed restaurants and hotels to serve alcohol. In 2002, some grocery stores were allowed to sell liquor (citation). In 2011, the Village further loosened up its laws to allow drinking at brunch by allowing an earlier serving time for small hotels and restaurants on weekends and holiday. At the same time, the Village allowed people to order drinks at restaurants without also ordering food.

At this week's meeting, the Village extended the brunch hours for other types of liquor licensees. At the same meeting, Trustee Peter Barber floated the idea of creating a license for locations that don't serve food. This would presumably be similar to Chicago's Tavern license.

Although the idea is in the exploratory stage, it is a good time to start putting a plan together.

Let's talk about that.

Daniel Rubinow, Principal Attorney

License Law Group


Daniel Rubinow