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Ted Mavrokis appeared at the Liquor Commission hearing on April 5 to apply for a liquor license to operate what Evanston would have termed a “bar or tavern” in a building he owns on Sherman Avenue, the same location Mr. Mavrokis selected last year for a Tilted Kilt franchise.
This time the problem was not skimpy uniforms but the fact that World of Beer is a bar and not a restaurant. The City of Evanston has no liquor classification for a “bar or tavern, ” and World of Beer would have been the first.
By the April 10 City Council meeting, though, the problem appeared to have been resolved and Mr. Mavrokis received a liquor license from the City after promising to install a kitchen and sell food on the premises.
Mr. Marvrokis at first proposed to solve the “no kitchen” problem by vending food prepared elsewhere, but the City rejected that proposal.
Liquor Commissioner Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said on April 5 that some downtown businesses and residents, as well as some City Council members, had expressed concerns over the prospect of a bar in downtown Evanston.
At the April 5 liquor commission hearing, Liquor Commissioner Tisdahl asked Mr. Mavrokis whether he would agree to install a kitchen in his World of Beer franchise.
“Why don’t you ask to be the first World of Beer to put a kitchen in?” she asked, adding, “the corporation is considering changing the model [to allow kitchens].”
Mr. Mavrokis said initially, “If they allow it, I will put the kitchen in.”
“This would make you in compliance with the City of Evanston ordinance,” Ms. Tisdahl said.
Alderman Judy Fiske, whose First Ward encompasses much of the downtown area, told Mr. Mavrokis at the April 5 meeting, “I would prefer that you put in a kitchen.”
At the end of the April 5 hearing, Liquor Commission member Byron Wilson said to Mr. Mavrokis, “Get that restaurant so we can have some beer.”
Apparently Mr. Mavrokis heard. At the April 10 City Council meeting, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said Mr. Mavrokis and principals of World of Beer told the liquor commissioner they are “prepared to place a kitchen in the [World of Beer] facility to be located at 1601 Sherman Ave. [that] will qualify them for a Class B liquor license.” He said the liquor commissioner “received additional documentation, with a menu, proving to her satisfaction that they would indeed comply with the requirements of a Class B liquor license.”