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Shorewood Considering Grant Program to Offset $10,000 Liquor Licenses

With Shorewood out of regular Class B liquor licenses and forced to charge $10,000 for reserve permits, village officials seek to avoid discouraging prospective Shorewood business owners with excessive fees.

Believeing that a $10,000 reserve liquor license hinders the growth of Shorewood’s business community, village officials are considering an economic development grant program to help offset the cost.

When opened May 17, it was issued Shorewood’s 14th and last $600 Class B license. State law allots municipalities a set number of Class B licenses and some reserve Class B liquor licenses based on its population, which are required to be sold for no less than $10,000. Class B licenses allow establishments to serve hard liquor, beer and wine.

This week, new Shorewood Asian restaurant and sushi bar for a reserve liquor license, so they could open with a full liquor bar.

In light of this issue, Community Development Authority member Mike Paulson presented a draft village ordinance Friday, outlining a grant program.

“It doesn’t make any sense in Shorewood if we are trying to bring in new business,” Paulson added.

Under the proposal, a business seeking a reserve liquor license would pay the $10,000 up front, then apply for the grant. If approved, Shorewood give the licensee back $9,400, with the village retaining the $600 as the standard license fee.

Paulson said he mimicked other municipalities' ordnances as to avoid any conflicts with state law. Officals say more than a dozen communities statewide are facing similar shortages of Class B licenses.

"Anyone coming into the village should pay the same amount to operate," Paulson said. “I don’t care who it is, Applebee's or NaNa, they shouldn’t have to pay more than $600. It is an accident of the calendar, and who happened to show up first.”

Shorewood's attorney and other staff will review the ordinance before its considered by the Village Board.

Absolutelyfabulous October 07, 2011 at 10:08 PM
Restaurants have the highest failure rates and if a space cycles over and over w/ new restaurant tenants every couple of years will it be the case that each time a liquor license is desired the Village will come through w/ $9,400? Never mind. Done deal.
Absolutelyfabulous October 08, 2011 at 04:03 PM
One of the arguments to the Village now paying/eating the $10,000 cost for a liquor license for a restaurant is because it hampers the ability of the village/Developer (ravenna) to attract high quality restaurants. What about existing locations that serve food? Will they now be able to get a liquor license paid for by the Village or is it only for new establishements? City Market is a "quality" establishment. Benji's is an institution. I'm sure a nice cold beer would go well with offerings from either establishment. You have that sandwich/pizza place next to Stein Optical on Capital Dr. off of Oakland that cycles out restaurant operators on a regular basis every couple of years. You have more than a few chinese restaurants in the Village. Do they or will they want to get liquor licenses to broaden their appeal/offerings for diners. Alterra offers sandwiches/pastries. Are they a coffee shop or a restaurant?
Jay Sykes October 09, 2011 at 12:55 PM
How does Shorewood end up financially behind by rebating the $9400? If I remember correctly, communities, prior to the State law allowing 'reserve' licences, had the standard population based number of licences to grant. The 'reserve' licences allow communities to exceed the old standard amount. I think Shorewood comes out $600 ahead.
Absolutelyfabulous October 09, 2011 at 04:45 PM
How does Shorewood come out $600 ahead when someone has to pick up the $10,000 price tag for the liquor license if all that is available are the "reserve" ones which cost $10,000 vs the original allotted which come in @ $600? The Village will be paying the $9,400 difference between the regular license fee of $600 which the restauranteur picks up and the Village grants the rest to make the license happen.

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