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updated: 1/2/2013 3:51 PM

Lake Zurich tweaks liquor law to allow BYOB eateries

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  • Patrick Finlon

    Patrick Finlon


Lake Zurich has amended its local liquor laws to address bring-your-own-bottle restaurants and businesses such as spas that want to provide complimentary alcoholic beverages with services.

Village trustees passed the liquor code changes presented to them by Lake Zurich Police Chief Patrick Finlon, who said that while the changes were approved after a new BYOB restaurant opened, he had been researching the issue for a couple of months.

Finlon told officials that BYOB establishments and places that offer free drinks with services were unregulated, leaving the potential for patrons to become overserved without the village having the ability to sanction a business as they would one with a liquor license.

"This is a kind of a gray area when it comes to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission," Finlon said. "And because the liquor isn't offered for sale, (the state liquor commission doesn't) have jurisdiction and they left it to the local jurisdictions to control it or regulate it."

Lake Zurich created a new category of liquor license for BYOB eateries allowing consumption of beer or wine brought onto the premises by a diner of legal drinking age. A complete meal must be served to the guest who brings the alcohol and any companions who drink, according to the corkage license regulations.

It costs $1,000 annually for the corkage license for eateries that don't otherwise sell alcohol. Restaurants may charge a corkage fee to patrons, according to the local law.

Meanwhile, trustees also approved a new liquor license category for spas, beauty shops, cosmetic establishments and barber shops. Barber shops were not originally on the list compiled by Finlon for the ordinance.

Trustee Rich Sustich questioned why male-oriented barber shops wouldn't be addressed in a local law.

"I used to go to (a barber) on Michigan Avenue and you got a glass of Scotch on your way in the door," Sustich said.

Only wine, sparkling wine, champagne or beer may be served at a beauty shop, spa, barber shop or cosmetic establishment as part of the $250-a-year license, the ordinance states. No more than two drinks may be dispensed to a customer on a calendar day.

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