It looks like World of Beer will be coming to Evanston, and without precipitating a change in the city’s long-time ban on bars that don’t serve food.

It looks like World of Beer will be coming to Evanston, and without precipitating a change in the city’s long-time ban on bars that don’t serve food.

In a memo to aldermen prepared for tonight’s City Council meeting, city staff report that Ted Mavrakis, who wants to bring the World of Beer franchise to the Fountain Square Building he owns downtown, has agreed to install a kitchen in the planned bar space.

The initial proposal for the franchise, which features a wide selection of craft beers, had sparked controversy because the franchise model calls for letting patrons call out and have food delivered from other restaurants nearby, but not having a kitchen in the World of Beer itself.

That led aldermen to say they didn’t think it was appropriate to grant a license for the establishment under the city’s existing liquor code, and to ask Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, the city’s liquor commissioner, to consider adding a new tavern license class to the ordinance that would not require an establishment to have a kitchen.

But Tisdahl, and Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, voiced doubts at a liquor control board meeting last week about the risks of permitting liquor service where food wasn’t served.

Tisdahl said she’d heard that World of Beer had considered including a kitchen in one of its franchise locations elsewhere, and Mavrakis said he’d check into whether he could get approval for that.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to approve the license for the building at 1601 Sherman Ave. this evening.

Update 11:10 a.m. 4/11/12: The aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the World of Beer liquor license.

Related story

Mayor tries to preserve tavern ban

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Very exciting!

    I was opposed to the Tilted Kilt concept mostly because it feels really low-rent and Schaumburg-ish.  But this World of Beer concept is very exciting!  If they have to build a kitchen and serve up some food- well, they do a pretty good job of it at Giordano's and I'm sure they'll manage it at WoB.

    As a beer enthusiast, I am really looking forward to this establishment.  I hope it goes through.  I always thought a brew pub at The Keg would solve the issue of the Keg being, well, icky, and having great beer brewed locally would be cool and lucrative.  WoB is a great addition to downtown- it will be popular with NU students and younger people, as well as older people with families (if it serves food- think kids menu!!).  The only think that would make this concept crazy awesome would be the ability to drink delicious beer outdoors in a sidewalk cafe area.

    I'm glad to see this seems to be working out for Mr. Mavrakis.


  2. Approve it!

    Please let them approve this, the amount of empty retail locations downtown over such a long term is terrible for businesses already located there trying to stay open.

    It's made all the more nonsensical due to turning away business that actually want to come to Evanston…


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