Even though there are already two liquor licensees within a block, fears about booze stalled plans to serve beer at DMK Burger and Fish in Evanston Monday night.

At the City Council’s Administration and Public Works Committee meeting, Matt Doherty, of 2122A Maple Ave. said, “There’s a great deal of concern about having a liquor license issued on Noyes” and claimed most neighbors are opposed to it.

Barbara Janes, of 802 Colfax St., said once the door was opened to beer, “I don’t know how you can limit it to just beer.”

And, Janes added, if DMK gets a license, “then D&D Dogs and Rolling to Go” — two other restaurants in the shopping district near the Noyes CTA station — “will be right behind them.”

Alderman Coleen Burrus, 9th Ward, noted that the Noyes Street Cafe serves alcohol and D&D Finer Foods sells beer and wine as a package store.

D&D Finer Foods, behind the D&D Dogs restaurant.

Alderman Judy Fiske, whose 1st Ward includes the north side of the block where DMK is located, said she “doesn’t want to make life difficult for restaurant owners” but that she’s concerned that the restaurant occupies a very small space and that there’ve been “continuing concerns about alcohol in the neighborhood.”

She and Alderman Delores Holmes, whose ward include the south side of the block, plan to meet with the restaurant owners within the next two weeks to try to answer neighborhood concerns.

DMK’s David Morton.

DMK co-owner David Morton said he applied for the liquor license after customers asked if they could have a beer with their burgers.

He said he and his partners own a total of eight restaurants in the metro area. “We’re restaurateurs, not barkeepers,” Morton said, “The vast majority of our sales are in food.”

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Temperance movement alive and well

    The ghosts of the WCTU are apparently very much alive!

    As the article suggests, there are plenty of places to get booze on Noyes.  Why these people are harassing DMK is mystifying.

    It is a great restaurant and is run very well. Take a look at their Yelp reviews.  Lets hope the council doesn't let the teatotaller crowd hurt another business.

    1. It’s really shameful the way we treat businesses in Evanston

      Since when are the comments of two individuals and an obstructionist alderperson indicative of a sentiment among the citizenry?  I for one live within a block of DMK and I would have no problem with them obtaining a license. Ms. Janes is apparently trying to stir up fear with her silly "I don't know how you can limit it to just beer" comment.  I wonder what horrors she envisions.  Ald. Fiske is concerned that the restaurant "occupies a very small space". Why is the size a problem at all related to beer sales?  Perhaps she foresees a beergarden taking over the street and closing down Noyes.  And Mr. Doherty apparently has his finger on the pulse of all of Evanston, based on his comments about a "great deal" of concern among "most neighbors".  I haven't heard a peep from any of my neighbors about this.

      This is ridiculous.  Why should Mandarin House and Noyes St Cafe, both within steps of DMK, be licensed to sell alcohol but DMK be prevented from doing so?  Have there been problems with these other establishments?  Not that I am aware of, but if there are, deal with them.  But don't punish a new and thriving business because of imagined issues and wildly overstated concerns.  

      1. A waste of time

        In the 18 years we lived in the area, we never heard a single issue regarding alcohol from or about the Mandarin House, Noyes Cafe or D&D, for that matter. I agree with "Not an NU Hater" – why should this be any different? This discussion is a waste of time and I hope the council just votes, approves and moves on with business.

  2. Harassment

    Been here multiple times, great burgers.  Only thing missing is the opportunity to enjoy a good craft beer with that craft burger.

    This is not the kind of place people hang out in to drink.  You will order a burger with excellent fries, drink a good beer, then get out, no drunken debauchery incited. 

    Contrary to claims, I'm willing to bet "most neighbors" are not in opposition and this is unfortunate behavior, it's embarrassing.

    Thank you for making an investment and creating jobs in Evanston, I hope you get your license asap, pretty sure I will be back for a quick burger with a beer soon enough. 

  3. Great place, great food!

    We have eaten there few times, and they serve delicious food. People come in eat a burger and leave, there is no space really for someone to just hang there and keep on drinking beer. So if people are asking for a beer with their burger, there is an obvious demand, why hinder any business from becoming more profitable?

    They are proven successful restaurateurs; they know what they are doing. Anyone questioning their beer license should do some more research!

  4. Beer already in the bag?

    At another commenter's suggestion, I read some Yelp reviews on DMK. Overall, it sounds like one can't have a decent experience there for under $15 per. Add a beer and that will push the price closer to $20. And while persuing some of the food photos, I couldn't help but notice the following written at the bottom of DMK's menu: "Beer! Coming this Spring."

    1. Beer SHOULD be in the bag

      In regards to DMK's ad for "beer coming this spring", my hunch is that they assumed that they would get the license approved without a problem given the fact that nearly every restaurant in their neighborhood and all of those comprable throughout the city have been granted liquor licenses.

      It should have been a no-brainer.

      Unfortunately, DMK has ran up a combination of a couple of NIMBYs, a poorly written liquor ordinance, and a council that is clueless about an ordinance they passed just several months ago (see Bill's article).

      A horrible example obstructionism peppered with staff deficiencies which are the dominant characteristics of Evanston politics and policy these days.

    2. Beer and wine sales

      DMK is a resturant. It sells burgers and fries to its customers. They are requesting a license to sell same customers beer, should they want to purchase one. The problem with this is?

      We have a couple of wine stores. One also sells beer. (the products these stores sell can be sold in bottles or Six Packs) They are not restaurants they may or may not offer snacks with the wine and beer they can sell by the glass. I would think these businesses would cause  more problems than a restaurant that sells food

      Seems the City of Evanston has created far far too many types of beer, wine and liquor licenses and they can't keep up with what has been approved.

    3. Whats the point?

      What does the price of their food have to do with anything?  Completely irrelevant in any way.

      Some people buy by price and quantity and are satisfied eating that food.  Others prefer quality and understand the pricing required to obtain that.  What has that got to do with buying a good beer to go with their good burger?  

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