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Bill Gilmore’s club on Davis Street may end on a sour note. Mr. Gilmore closed the doors to Bill’s Blues Club, 1029 Davis St. last week, after the City suspended his liquor license for delinquency and gave him until 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 to pay.
With the State of Illinois pushing for a revocation rathern than a suspension, Liquor Commissioner Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Liquor Commissioners Patrick Hughes, Marian Kelly and Byron Wilson on Nov. 2 granted a one-week reprieve for Mr. Gilmore and his blues club by only suspending the license. The week was to allow him time to catch up on three public delinquencies: payment to the state for his state liquor license, remittance of liquor taxes to the City of Evanston and payment on his liquor license to the City of Evanston.
Mr. Gilmore said he had run the blues club for six years. “We were struggling before the recession,” he said. “My core business was, by-and-large, people over 40 in Evanston, Chicago and the North Shore who were educated and wealthy. With the recession, all the media advised people to stay home. They [Bill’s Blues patrons] got scared and pulled out.” He said he also owes his landlord back rent and is in danger of being evicted.
Mr. Gilmore appeared at the Nov. 2 hearing with an angel.
Lorraine Kinnetty, who said she had recently returned to Evanston to start her own law practice, said she believed in Mr. Gilmore and that she had money, investors and a plan to turn the club around. She said that, while Mr. Gilmore knows blues, she and her husband and friends knew indie rock, reggae and other music that would attract a wider and different crowd. She said she and her accountant would perform their due diligence and continue to work with Mr. Gilmore on ways to keep the club open. She said if everything worked out, she would pay the delinquencies by Nov. 9.
However, that day came and went, and, by noon on Nov. 9 there had been no indication that Mr. Gilmore had paid the delinquencies.