After a parade of neighbors spoke in support of a liquor license for D&D Dogs, Evanston aldermen Monday night overturned the mayor’s denial of a license for the restaurant on Noyes Street.

The only vote to uphold the mayor’s action came from Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, who said he feared the decision would set a precedent that could lead to licensing liquor sales at Hot Dog Island — a former gas station that stands at the triangular intersection of Central Street, Gross Point Road and Crawford Avenue in his ward.

“It would be very inappropriate to be serving liquor in the middle of an intersection,” Tendam said.

But Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, said D&D “is truly different than a hot dog stand — it’s a hot dog sit-down restaurant.”

In any case, she added, liquor licenses are handled based on the merits of the individual applicant and the individual location. “This applicant has to be considered based on its own background,” she said.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, said the liquor ordinance is written so the mayor, as liquor commissioner, can deny anybody. The city, she says, has the legal opportunity and responsibility to say no to any application it deems inappropriate.

But, Fiske, who had voiced misgivings about the recently approved liquor license for DMK Burger & Fish, but ultimately voted for that, said she doesn’t know of any restaurant that has done as much for its neighborhood as D&D.

“The amount of money they’ve spent in the neighborhood is huge,” Fiske said of the more than four-decade old business. “The respect from the neighborhood is huge.”

The neighbors, some of whom had opposed the DMK license, said that with that license granted, it would leave D&D at a competitive disadvantage to be denied a license.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, said she D&D’s owners have been good neighbors, that her denial of the license application was no reflection on the character of the people who own the buisiness or work there.

“But there are lots of other establishments called ‘dogs’ that will be requesting liquor licenses as well,” Tisdahl said, “It’s an issue about where we do and do not want to have liquor licenses.”

One person, she said, had told her that in Germany you can buy beer at McDonalds. “I’m not sure that’s a great idea,” the mayor said, adding that, as the city learned when it moved to revoke the license of The Keg, “it’s extremely difficult to take away a license once it has been granted.”

The vote to overturn the mayor’s decision required two-thirds support on the council to pass. It topped that margin — passing 7-1. Only Tendam voted against it. Alderman Jane Grover, 7th Ward, was absent.

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No booze for you, mayor tells hot dog stand

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Good Vote

    D&D Foods is a Noyes Street institution, having served countless neighborhood residents and Northwestern students since the early 1970s. I thank the mayor and city council for recognizing this and granting their D&D Dogs restaurant a liquor license. 

    1. Don’t thank the Mayor–She decided against D&D!

      The Mayor did not vote last night (she only votes if there is a tie).  As the city's liquor commissioner, however, she opposed the license application.  She should not be "thanked" for supporting them since she unilaterally decided to oppose D&D's request.

      1. Should not be one person’s decision

        As much as I hate committees and bureauracy, this has shown that vesting the decision making in one person is dangerous.  You may say the rest of the Council can over-rule, but for "solidarity", inertia, or loyality, that may not ever happen.  Recall several times where an alderman said they were against something but voted 'yes' anyway, again for solidarity, loyality, etc..

        This has shown that the Mayor should not be making these decisions by herself.  Hopefully we will vote in a Mayor and Council who make better and better reasoned decisions.

  2. Little Island is NOT a hot dog stand – read the menu

    Someone tell 6th ward alderman Mark Tendam that Little Island also serves hamburgers (it's not called Hot Dog Island and it's not a hot dog stand).

    So why did Tendam vote to give a liquor license to DMK Burgers? DMK sells hamburgers.

    I don't know what's worse – aldermen and the mayor playing favorites with businesses or an aldermen publicly calling Little Island in his ward a hot dog island and then denying the restaurant a liquor license despite the fact that the restaurant owner never applied for one. 

    If I were the owner of Little Islanbd I would not be happy with all this needless negative public attention.

    1. Decisive Decisions

      Obviously Ald.Rainey hasn't been to Little Island either, because they offer just as much seating as D&D dogs.Truly our City Council's favortism in local business shows that we are in need of more decisive decision makers.

  3. A beer is not a crime

    My house is 3 blocks from the hot dog island Tendam references.  And if the owners applied for a liquor license, so what !?

    People who would like a drink with a meal do not pose a threat to civilized society.   I suggest Mr Tendam leaves his bubble. 

    Thanks to the rest of city council for showing some fairness in application of the law.  


  4. great job

    Great job City Council.  

    I don't understand this concern over fast service restaurants.  Chipotle has had a liquor license for what, a decade+, not only beer, but margaritas with tequila in them. 

    I dare anybody to claim our Chipotle location isn't filled with college students and underage customers, yet there is no random rowdiness, public drunkeness, or any other problem whatsoever.  

    I love hot dogs, I hate soda pop, I for one will love a beer with my Chicago jumbo charred. And just like Chipotle, and what will also prove true with DMK, D&D, or any other "dog" style place, it can be done with no problems. There are real issues for the community to wring our hands over, this isn't one of them.   

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