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posted: 7/2/2013 12:01 AM

Arlington Heights denies karaoke bar liquor license

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The Arlington Heights village board voted to deny a liquor license to local karaoke bar after questions were raised about the owner's control over the business, previous violations and ties to a convicted prostitute.

The board voted 6-3 on Monday to deny a liquor license to The Music Box, 224 E. Golf Road, which formerly operated as Ding Dong Dang.

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Owner Song Han told the trustees over the course of two public hearings that the business had changed its name and cleared up issues concerning a previous owner who had been convicted of prostitution, but some Arlington Heights trustees said they weren't sure the business should be trusted with a liquor license again.

Ding Dong Dang's liquor license was not renewed in May 2012 after violations stemming from incorrect paperwork and improperly obscured windows in the karaoke room.

Also, a former owner and Han's stepsister, Myeong Lim, was arrested on two separate charges of prostitution while working as a masseuse in Buffalo Grove in 2010 and 2011, said Arlington Heights police officer William Kirby.

Since the nonrenewal last year, Han said she has dissolved any partnership with Lim and is the sole owner of the company; however, she admitted her stepsister had been in the business recently.

Han said her business has suffered and she has had to fire two employees since losing her liquor license.

Trustee Joe Farwell raised questions about conflicting testimony from when Han appeared before the board last yea.

"I have a problem with the constant lack of continual information," Farwell said. "This is a liquor license, and it's a privilege."

Three trustees -- Carol Blackwood, Bert Rosenberg and Jim Tinaglia -- voted against the denial, saying they wished there was a way to help Han with her business by possibly allowing a liquor license on a probationary basis.

"I have a difficult time saying no to this petitioner if she is trying to make ends meet," Tinaglia said.

Han can appeal the decision to the state liquor commission or reapply to the village board with proof that she has made changes or cleared up issues from the past, village officials said.

The Music Box will remain open and continue to operate as a bring your own alcohol establishment as it has since the license was not renewed last year.

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