Naperville cutting liquor license costs for hair salons

  • Naperville has voted to decrease the price of the liquor license that allows hair salons to offer beer or wine to their customers during service. The Class M lifestyle amenities facility license used to cost $2,200 and now it will cost $500. The city also will make two more licenses available, up to a total of five.

    Naperville has voted to decrease the price of the liquor license that allows hair salons to offer beer or wine to their customers during service. The Class M lifestyle amenities facility license used to cost $2,200 and now it will cost $500. The city also will make two more licenses available, up to a total of five. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer March 2016

 
 
Updated 3/4/2020 11:25 AM

Two more salons in Naperville will be able to get liquor licenses to legally offer wine or beer to their customers, and the licenses soon will cost less.

The courtesy of a glass of wine or beer with a cut and color already is offered at many salons in Naperville -- more than the three that are licensed, Naperville Mayor and Liquor Commissioner Steve Chirico said. So the move to decrease the licensing fee from $2,200 to $500 and offer five licenses instead of three is an attempt to bring more salons into compliance.

 

"We don't want to deter people from being law-abiding," Chirico said Tuesday as the city council discussed the licensing changes. "We want to make it available to people who want to provide this service to their clients."

Salons that hold the city's Class M license for a lifestyle amenities facility include Solaia at 120 Water St., suite 126, C'zar Male Naperville at 237 Jefferson Ave. and Ten Friends Blow Dry & Style House at 2720 Showplace Drive, suite 102.

The city created the license in 2016 as a way to accommodate two salons that said offering alcohol was part of their business model.

To gain alcohol privileges, the rules set four years ago say, salons have to get a yearly permit, buy all of their alcohol through distributors, meet storage and security requirements, get server training for all of their employees and serve each customer no more than two 12-ounce beers or two 6-ounce glasses of wine.

But the city recently discovered some salons are offering alcohol without licenses. These salons told city officials the $2,200 price tag was too steep.

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Liquor commissioners recommended lowering the fee to $250 to encourage unlicensed salons to apply. City council members chose $500 as a more appropriate amount.

Council member Theresa Sullivan said $250 is too low because, in her experience, it often costs that much for one woman to get a cut and color.

"That's one client, one day of the entire year," she said. "It seems to me that at that level, at $250, I would think every salon in Naperville would be jumping on wanting this license."

But the city doesn't want every salon to offer alcohol, Sullivan said.

That's why the licensing fee was set at $2,200 four years ago and why the number of licenses available was capped, Chirico said.

The cap, however, took into account both types of Class M licensees, which include lifestyle amenities facilities, as well as recreational facilities. The cap is set at 14, and 11 of the available licenses are taken by recreational facilities.

The action the city council took unanimously Tuesday night established separate caps of 11 for recreational facilities and five for lifestyle amenities facilities, which could allow two more salons to get licensed.

"It puts them on the radar for us to do compliance checks," Chirico said.

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