Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, the City’s liquor commissioner, has issued her decision regarding the application of Ted Mavrakis for a liquor license to operate a Tilted Kilt at 1601 Sherman Ave. The application was denied. The reasons for the denial, according to her decision, “stem from the public safety concerns expressed by the residents and the fact that the proposed licensee’s establishment does not comply with recognized Evanston community standards.”

Mayor Tisdahl’s decision was also based on state law that states that a liquor commissioner “may legitimately deny the issuance of license based upon genuine reasons related to public health, safety and morals.”

The three-page decision contained “findings” and “applicable law.” Among the findings was the statement that between the first hearing on the proposal, held several months ago, and the April 26 hearing, “Mayor Tisdahl was contacted by hundreds of Evanston citizens regarding the application. Foremost among the reasons for opposition was the concern regarding the attire of the Tilted Kilt employees, specifically the overly suggestive nature of the minimal attire of the female staff. The community input received regarding the application demonstrated that the community standards of the City of Evanston precluded the Tilted Kilt from employing staff wearing the mandatory clothing as depicted in the Record. Upon questioning, the Tilted Kilt’s corporate representative confirmed that they would not agree to any alteration whatsoever to the female staff uniform.”

Regarding applicable law, the Mayor’s decision said, among other things, that a local liquor commissioner has a “considerable degree of discretion.“ Citing the Illinois Appellate Court decision in Stevens v. Lake County, she said, “The business of selling alcoholic liquors at retail when not properly done is a business ‘fraught with danger to the community’ and raises peculiarly local problems pertaining to the public health, safety and morals of the community.”  Moreover, a home-rule city such as Evanston “may justly regulate for the health, safety and morals of the community, as dictated by local community standards.”

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...