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Village Officials Approve $10,000 Liquor License Work-around

With Shorewood currently 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.

Shorewood officials have given the final OK to a work-around aimed at offsetting the hefty $10,000 cost of a reserve Class B liquor license.

The new grant program approved unanimously by village trustees Monday comes on the heels of , allowing the sushi and Asian cuisine restaurant to open with a full liquor bar.

Last spring when opened its doors in Shorewood, it was issued the village's 14th and last $600 Class B license. State law allots municipalities a set number of Class B licenses. Once those are used, municipalities can issue reserve Class B liquor licenses, which are required to be sold for no less than $10,000. Class B licenses allow establishments to serve hard liquor, beer and wine.

The $10,000 cost of the license is a one-time charge and the license can be renewed annually for $600.

So when came to town, it became the first establishment in Shorewood to have to fork over $10,000 for a Class B liquor license.

After NaNa paid the thousands for a reserve license, .

Officials have said forcing businesses to shell out $10,000 for a liquor license just because another shop set up in Shorewood before them is unfair, and it could adversely affect how prospective business developers and owners view the business climate in the village.

Under the grant program, a business seeking a reserve Class B liquor license would pay the $10,000 up front, then apply for the grant. If approved, Shorewood would give the licensee back up to $9,400, with the village retaining $600 — or the amount Shorewood would otherwise charge a business for a regular Class B liquor license.

The Village Board will have the final authority over approval of any grants under the program, according to Village Attorney Ray Pollen.

David Tatarowicz June 08, 2012 at 02:27 PM
What a Great Idea --- give out special grants to get a discounted liquor license --- but NOT Everybody will get the $9400 kickback -- only those that the Village Board decides to give it to. What is the objective criteria for deciding who does and does not get the grant? Could it matter who your neighbor is? How much you supported a Village Board Member for elections? Who you hire for your architect, or contractor? Having a Subjective decision like this made opens the door to all kinds of questions of impropriety, and of equal protection under the law. Let's get more of these kid of laws, and our Village Board Members can join the elite clubs of Aldermen in Chicago and Milwaukee, who have become entangled in payoffs and bribery scandals.
CowDung June 08, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Charging $10k for something that costs others $600 seems like a 'rip-off' to begin with.
Absolutelyfabulous June 08, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Dave- They'll just follow precedent set by how they handled the most recent apartment developments in Shorewood. Business as usual. BTW..Has that playground equipment slated for Atwater Beach been installed yet? Can't tell from the road and haven't read any articles in Patch on that front.
David Tatarowicz June 09, 2012 at 07:06 PM
@Ab Fab -- sorry but I wouldn't know ... when they rebuilt the path, they did no make it ADA compliant, and with my bad knee I'm afraid I helped pay for something that is not usable for me

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