Evanston 1st Liquors Still Owes City $2,000 Fine

The city fined Evanston 1st Liquors in May, citing underage alcohol sales. Due June 1, the fee still has not been paid, according to city staff.

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 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.

Melissa June 19, 2012 at 12:49 AM
The guy who runs the Evanston 1st Liquor Store, has been there since I was a teen (70's), It's a shame his workers have caused this, because I know good and well he didn't know about it. Under-aged young adults have always been able to get alcohol through friends, even strangers. Was the Northwestern Saferide driver sited?
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Hi Melissa, thanks for commenting. The SafeRide driver was arrested and charged with unlawful delivery of alcohol to a minor. The girl to whom she allegedly provided the alcohol was cited for underage possession. If you want more info on this, the Daily Northwestern published an extended story about the SafeRide arrest in February: http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/city/saferide-driver-caught-buying-liquor-for-underage-passenger-at-evanston-1st-liquors-1.2703703#.T9_izitYti5
LeilaDDL June 19, 2012 at 12:09 PM
What is with the people in this city? Now Evanston 1st Liquor is being targeted for selling to minors, and the the "concern" that people will buy alcohol for their underage friends?? Because what, that wouldn't happen if this store was run out of business, which based on what I've seen so far in this town, is EXACTLY what seems to be happening? I am 37 years old and have lived in Evanston since 2008, and every single time I've gone to Evanston 1st to buy beer or wine, I've always been carded. Leave these people alone!
mij June 19, 2012 at 12:56 PM
I believe Evanston Liquors changed ownership a couple years ago.
mij June 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM
If you taking away license from one for underage sales you need to take from all.
Jim June 19, 2012 at 01:00 PM
You know what it is in Evanston. The people here who run the place are morally superior as in "In order to save Evanston, we must destroy Evanston".
LeilaDDL June 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Does anyone else find it to be a HUGE conflict of interest that the mayor is also the liquor board commissioner?
Jim June 19, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Don't you know that the mayor is morally superior too and that she is saving us from short skirts, cleavage, alcohol, drunken teenagers, and other forms of moral turpitude. Keep Evanston pure and bankrupt. Amen, brother.
LeilaDDL June 19, 2012 at 03:51 PM
LOL! I did forget. Heaven forbid someone in a short skirt serve me a beer and a burger.
Melissa June 19, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Yeah, she's really making a difference...
Melissa June 19, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Thanks Jennifer for the reply and link--I'm just trying to find out if the driver and the underaged person were sited...where does E1st fit into this if they sold it legally? ...@mij: Oh, I wasn't aware that management at 1st had changed...Jim and Leila: seriously, your comments are so truthful it's scary ( I realize you were being a bit sarcastic- and they were humorous), but I was born and raised up with this bully mentality of Evanston's finest and their twisted fake idea of a moral society...They put band-aids on most other things. First let's admit that their is no solution to under-age drinking- it's been around since liquor was first concocted. 2nd, stores are carding 40 years old's now for liquor and cigarettes in order to comply--The person who goes into a store and buys it for them and the young adult who deceitfully walks into a business and orders liquor should be the most responsible (especially those using fake id's).


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