By Charlie Feldman
The Glen Carbon village board passed an ordinance to reduce the number of Class A liquor licenses within its borders from four to two through attrition.
The action was taken during a special meeting held on Monday, November 16. Due to COVID-19-related concerns, the meeting was held on Zoom.
“If a current Class A liquor license holder went out of business and/or gave up his liquor license Class A, the number of Class A liquor licenses then would then be reduced to the remaining number of three,” said Mayor Rob Jackstadt. “If another Class A liquor license holder gives up his license, the number of Class A liquor licenses would then be reduced to two.”
“Most municipalities limit their liquor licenses by class like this,” added Village Attorney Jim Schrempf.
“If you didn’t have a limit of, say, even four, anybody who comes in with a qualified applicant and a qualified location is entitled to get a liquor license, whether that be the fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth,” Schrempf said.
He said it was possible for one of the Class A licenses, if issued by a corporation, to ultimately be sold to a new third party and that they would then operate under that license. They would have to be qualified to receive a license and they would have to be at a location that was acceptable, not prohibited under ordinance.
‘Other than that, I think you’re pretty much limiting your exposure to what might be deemed negative gaming operations to the four who have Class A and perhaps to the large restaurant that primarily uses a gaming devices as a small part of the business.”
Schrmepf said that he village has the right to increase or decrease the number of Class A licenses in the future.
The board also amended the ordinance to clarify the definition of “restaurant.”
The current ordinance, Schrempf explained, requires that a restaurant is required to have 50 percent of its gross revenue through the sale of food as opposed to alcohol. “This change means that it must have fifty percent of its revenue from sale of food as opposed to all other revenues including gaming,” he said.
Both ordinances passed. In case either hadn’t or if the board wanted more time to analyze other options to the changes to the liquor licenses and other ordinances, a third proposed ordinance was on the agenda – one to ban video gaming. Gaming machines were legalized in Glen Carbon at the October 27 board meeting.
Jackstadt said this would give them an option to take a step back, ban video gaming and then “study the issues further for a while.” But since the items passed, he said he was comfortable with the modifications they made to the current liquor license. The board voted against prohibiting gaming in Glen Carbon 4-2.
The next village board meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 24 at 7 pm. on Zoom on a link to be available on the next meeting agenda on the village’s web page.