Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said "it looks good to me" this afternoon as she reviewed plans to open a World of Beer franchise downtown.
Tisdahl last year rejected a proposal from building owner Ted Mavrakis to open a Tilted Kilt restaurant in the Fountain Square Building at 1601 Sherman Ave. last year because of the skimpy outfits for waitresses that are part of that chain's concept.
The World of Beer model for the same space might face a different issue. It doesn't serve food, and Evanston's liquor ordinance requires food service at all establishments in town that serve booze.
But Tisdahl and members of the Liquor Control Board seemed convinced that the World of Beer approach of letting restaurants elsewhere in town provide delivery service to patrons' tables at World of Beer would meet the intent of the city's liquor laws.
World of Beer argues, based on experience in other communities, that the strategy also provides a substantial boost in business for nearby restaurants.
World of Beer, which offers package sales as well as bar seating, has about 20 outlets now, with another 20 under construction, according to a company representative who attended the meeting. The closest franchise now is in Columbus, Ohio. But one has recently reportedly been approved for Naperville.
The liquor control panel also looked favorably on several other proposals this afternoon:
- It approved plans for a beer and wine license for Todoroki Sushi and Grill, newly opened at 524-526 Davis St. Owner Wendy Cheng said she plans to offer mostly Asian beers and develop wine pairings for its food dishes in cooperation with the Vinic wine shop around the corner from the restaurant on Chicago Avenue.
- It approved plans for a beer and wine license for a proposed new restaurant, Creperie Saint Germain, at 1512 Sherman Ave.
- It supported a request from Paul Hletko, owner of the Few Spirits distillery, to increase the cap on his production from 5,000 proof gallons a year to 15,000 -- as now permitted under a revised state law. Hletko said his business is going far better than he'd expected and that at current rates he could exhaust his production limit by April or May.
All those plans are expected to go before the City Council for final approval next month.
The panel also indicated support for preliminary plans from Josh Gilbert to open a craft brewery in Evanston. That will require addition of a new section to the city's liquor code.
Top: An image from the World of Beer website.