Despite repeated legal problems, Mundelein's Blue 60 restaurant and bar can continue to serve alcohol -- but the operators must make some changes, village officials said.
The concessions -- including an earlier closing time -- essentially keep it operating while owner Steve Itsines looks for someone to buy the bar. If officials had decided to yank Blue 60's liquor license, alcohol could not to be served at the property for one year, regardless of who owns it or what the business is called.
The village liquor commission announced the arrangement during a hearing Monday night. The establishment had faced revocation of the liquor license, which would have essentially shut it down.
The commission will talk about Blue 60 again Sept. 24.
Itsines could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.
The azure-themed spot opened in August 2011. Set on the north side of Route 60 just west of Route 45, it's near one of Lake County's busiest intersections.
But the site has been an unlucky one for entrepreneurs. Four restaurants opened and closed there between 1997 and 2008.
The previous tenant was the Fuel Bar & Grill, which opened in 2007 but shut down a year later after an undercover police operation led to arrests there.
"That particular site, for whatever reason, has had a hard time maintaining a business," Trustee Terri Voss said. "We're trying to give it every opportunity to have a business there."
Mundelein police Chief Raymond J. Rose wanted officials to revoke Blue 60's liquor license following a July 4 brawl that prompted 12 citations and led to a one-week license suspension.
Charges included serving alcohol to minors, overserving intoxicated patrons, exceeding building capacity and blocking building exits, police said.
Other complaints had been filed against the bar earlier, too.
Among the changes ordered by village officials, Blue 60 must now close at midnight. Its website doesn't indicate a set closing time.
The earlier last call is important, Trustee Steve Lentz said, because the problems at the bar had been happening after midnight.
Drinking-related games are banned, too, officials said.
Any liquor-law violation reported between now and Sept. 24 could result in an immediate hearing and license revocation.
"If there are any other violations, then we're done," Rose said.
Voss called the repeated complaints at Blue 60 "a huge shame." She criticized Itsines, too, saying he's "definitely not the right person to own a business like that."
Although he wanted Blue 60's liquor license pulled, Rose said he's satisfied with the negotiated concessions and the Sept. 24 deadline, particularly because Itsines is looking to sell.
"I think he's conceded that he needs to move on," Rose said.