Liquor code updates mulled by trustees

Hinsdale eateries Egg Harbor and Yia Yia’s Pancake House would like to serve cocktails like mimosas and Bloody Marys to their morning breakfast patrons. But under the class B liquor license each currently possesses, alcohol consumption on the premises can’t begin until 11 a.m.

At the Hinsdale Village Board meeting Tuesday, officials discussed creating a new license category to address the demand. Trustee Matt Posthuma, chair of the administration and community affairs committee, introduced a proposed class that would pertain specifically to breakfast and lunch-only restaurants.

“It would allow alcohol to be served between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.,” Posthuma said.

The proposal also includes a provision for other restaurants to be able to serve alcohol for special morning brunch offerings on occasions including Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

Another suggested change to the liquor code would be lowering the age of table servers allowed to deliver alcohol to diners from 21 to 18.

“Coming out of the pandemic, a lot of restaurants are having a hard time finding employees,” Posthuma said. “Our local ordinance says that you need to be 21 to serve alcohol in a restaurant. State law actually permits local municipalities to lower that age down to a minimum of 18.”

The modification would not apply to bartending or the sale of packaged liquor, Posthuma noted.

The final proposed update concerned class C licenses for personal service business such as hair and nail salons. To guard against overconsumption, Posthuma intimated, the code would be tightened to limit the amount a patron could be served.

“We decided that it was appropriate to make some additional restrictions on the amount of alcohol that can be consumed,” he said. “The proposal ... is to say that there’s only a glass of wine or one 12-ounce beer that can be served at any particular business.”

He also reported two recommended “mechanical” changes to the liquor code. The first revision would automatically decrease the number of licenses available upon the closure of a license-holding business. The second would require costs for appealing a decision of the village liquor commissioner, a role performed by the village president, to be borne by the appellant.

Trustee Scott Banke expressed his support for the proposed changes, especially the class C license restrictions, for which had been a vocal advocate.

“I think this provides the guidance that is necessary for these particular businesses to be able to serve alcohol responsibly,” Banke said.

Trustees are expected to vote on the measures after a second read at their July 13 meeting.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean