Evanston 1st Liquors has yet to pay the city a $2,000 fine imposed for alleged sales to minors, more than two weeks after the fee was due.
On Monday, however, the city’s liquor control review board agreed to give the store a one-month extension to pay the fine and to submit proof that all employees were given mandatory state training for alcohol servers.
“I find it very troubling that the licensee did not comply,” city attorney Grant Farrar told the liquor control board on Monday.
An employee at Evanston 1st Liquors, reached Monday afternoon, deferred questions to store owner Amit Amin, but said Amin was currently on vacation and could not be reached.
The city issued the $2,000 fine against Evanston 1st in May, citing at least two instances in which minors had purchased alcohol from the store in 2012. One of those violations involved a sale to a 16-year-old boy, according to the city’s order, who was either not asked for an ID or who presented a false ID.
The city’s liquor code currently does not include late fees or other measures to enforce payment of such a fine. On Monday, liquor commissioners decided to revise the liquor code to include penalties for nonpayment.
“To me it’s ridiculous that they were supposed to pay a $2,000 fine by June 1st and we don’t have any meat behind it,” said board member Marion Macbeth.
There have not been any violations at Evanston 1st Liquors since the fine was imposed, according to Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, who serves as liquor commissioner. But, she said, nearby businesses are concerned that someone is still buying alcohol there and selling it to minors.
In February, a driver for Northwestern University’s SafeRide program was arrested near the store after police allegedly saw her buy alcohol, then give it to her underage passenger.
The store's annual liquor license expires July 10, according to Wendy McCambridge, hearings division manager for the city's legal department.