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liquor commission

Liquor Commission Amends Two License Classes for Local Businesses

Tasting DeVine Request

Tasting DeVine could soon offer craft-distilled and small batch whiskey along with craft beer and wine after it got a recommendation from the Naperville Liquor Commission.

The commission unanimously approved their request to amend the Class S1 – Specialty Wine Shop license to include those other liquors, as long as serving sizes are enforced and customers are limited to one type of alcohol during their visit.

“The text amendment basically puts a square footage requirement [and] allows for the sale of three ounces of craft-distilled whiskey or small batch whiskey or 18 ounces of wine or 32 ounces of craft beer per person per day,” said Senior Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Lutzke. “It also allows for off-premises sale of craft beer, wine, craft-distilled whiskey, or small batch whiskey in its original package.”

Tasting DeVine Cellars currently hosts a wine club and wine tastings on-site. This change would also allow them to offer tastings of the other types of liquor mentioned.

That now goes to Naperville City Council for final approval.

Center Stage Place

The other item on the Liquor Commission agenda dealt with a request from Center Stage Place, which wants to amend its Class R – Legitimate Theater House license.

Currently, the theater can only sell beer and wine during “live musical or theatrical presentations of a non-cinematic nature. That excludes events like private parties, film screenings, comedy shows, and more. Center Stage would like to redefine the license to include those types of events.

COVID-19’s Impact

The request comes largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Director Kandi Hernandez partnered with Terrell Cole, who had been operating King’s Café inside the theater since 2018.

“With COVID and closing, knowing that I wasn’t going to be open for at least a year, if not a year and a half, Terrell and I came to an understanding that he had to move on,” said Hernandez. “So now I’m not planning on opening a restaurant the way Terrell was running that. We are serving food, possibly working with vendors in the community.”

Many commissioners also pointed out Center Stage’s record as a responsible business providing artistic value to the community with no violations of the liquor code on its record. All seemed to agree that slightly amending this license for a business heavily affected by COVID-19 was a smart move for the city.

“I look at Mrs. Hernandez trying to save her business, right?” pointed out Commissioner Kim White. “This is our new normal and we need to look at that.”

The commission voted 8-0 in favor of amending the Class R license to allow beer and wine to be served during events, so long as the business holding the license operates predominantly as a theater. That will also go to city council for final approval.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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