Possible changes in the village liquor code led to a spirited discussion by the Mount Prospect village board Tuesday at its committee-of-the-whole meeting.
Five key changes to Chapter 13 of the code are proposed, among them allowing customers to bring in a bottle of wine to a restaurant, enabling the serving of bottles of spirits at a banquet facility, and even making it possible for barbershops, spas and beauty establishments to serve wine or beer.
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The bring your own bottle -- or corkage -- service would allow customers of an establishment with a liquor license to bring in a bottle of wine to enjoy with a meal.
Mayor Arlene Juracek said the change was requested by high-end restaurants with clients who wanted to bring in special wines.
"It seemed every time I opened the newspaper, there was a new restaurant in Glenview or Des Plaines or Arlington Heights or somewhere advertising that they had BYOB service," she added.
Trustees wrestled with the logistics, with questions ranging from who could open the bottle on the premises to how many bottles could be brought. Trustee Paul Hoefert also was concerned that customers might be tempted to slip some wine to an underage drinker.
Village Manager Michael Janonis said much of the serving policy would be determined by the establishments, but they would all be required to comply with the liquor code.
"There is a point at which you just say, 'Hey, you want the right to have corkage? You as an establishment need to take responsibility. And if you're not going to be vigilant about it, you're going to lose your license.' That's it," he said.
In addressing the banquet hall change, Juracek said banquet halls can deliver wine and beer but the village specifically does not allow spirits.
"We have had a written request from at least one banquet hall, saying this is really hurting their business," she said.
Hoefert raised a concern about the barbershop and beauty shop provision.
"Maybe there is a high-end kitchen remodeler and, as people look at these high-end cabinets, (the business) wants to offer wine," he said. "Where does it stop?"
"It's happening now," Janonis responded. "There are beauty shops in town now that will give you a glass of wine. So it's whether you want to regulate it or look the other way."
Trustee John Matuszak suggested that the provision could be further defined by specifying it would be allowed where personal services are offered.
The other two key changes would involve the granting of temporary licenses, as well as further refining the procedure for review of license violations by giving more due process to accused violators.