Just a month after Evanston aldermen unanimously approved a liquor license for a burger joint a half-block away, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has turned down a request from D&D Dogs on Noyes Street to serve beer and wine.

The restaurant’s owners are expected to appear at Monday night’s City Council meeting seeking to have aldermen overturn the mayor’s decision.

Some neighbors in the small shopping district near the Noyes Purple Line station have objected licensing D&D Dogs as well as DMK Burger & Fish, claiming Northwestern University students living in the neighborhood are likely to create disturbances if more venues there are allowed to serve liquor.

The Noyes Street Cafe on the block has had a liquor license for years, and D&D Finer Foods, with the same ownership as D&D Dogs, has long had a package store license.

Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward, initially opposed the DMK Burger license, but ultimately voted for it after it was rewritten to limit sales to just beer and wine.

During the Liquor Control Board’s hearing on the D&D Dogs license, the mayor said she had “received a lot of emails” objecting to the license and that she worried that letting D&D have a license “would create a negative precedent for the neighborhood.”

In her order denying the D&D license request, the mayor, who had approved DMK’s license, said “there are legitimate concerns that several other businesses” would seek liquor licenses and that added noise and underage drinking “may fundamentally alter the character of the neighborhood.”

D&D Dogs would need support from six of the nine aldermen to overturn the mayor’s ruling.

Related stories

DMK gets liquor license, sidewalk cafe

Neighbors’ fears hold up beer at DMK

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. D & D

    Hurray for the mayor!   I have friends who live right in that neighborhood…..there is enough drinking, loud parties, and "hanging out" beyond curfews…more than residents can put up with..

    1. If your friends moved into a

      If your friends moved into a neighborhood with that many students, perhaps they should have expected the noise and parties.  

      1. Yep..and touche!  They

        Yep..and touche!  They complain all the time……(I've often asked them why they moved there)……I think their point was that things get out of control at times….not just having a friendly glass of wine, or a large party…..police get called.  

  2. Another “Ready, Fire, Aim” by the Mayor

    Let's get this straight. The Mayor approves a liquor license for a business open less than a year [guess how long it will even be open?] but a block away turns one down for a business open over 20 years with the owner on premise and who has the grocery store selling liquor next door. 

    At a minimum this is poor planning by the Mayor [we will have to see if the Council has better judgement].

    1. classism

      This is obviously classism. The white collar $10+ burger bar got approved. The cheaper student/blue collar restaurant next door got rejected — because clearly poorer people can't be trusted with booze.

  3. Is Tisdahl playing favorites?

    I don't believe D&D employees are wearing kilts so why would Mayor Tisdahl turn down a liquor license for D&D Dogs but give one to it's competitor, DMK Burgers, which recently opened on the same street? Perhaps DMK Burgers got the liquor license because the owners live in Evanston and D&D Dog owners do not? 

    Is there some political insider stuff going on here? Why give preference to one food joint over another on the same street and within a half block of each other? Does Tisdahl prefer hamburgers over hot dogs?  

    What message does this send to the business community? 

    Tisdahl claims she denied D&D Dogs a liquor license because she got "a lot of emails." How much is a lot? Five, 10, 1,000?  Is that all it takes to get Tisdahl to back down on something – a lot of emails? Good to know.

    Once again, our elected officials are playing favorites with private business owners. It is a recipe for corruption and insider deals. 

    I think the Council should strip the mayor of this power. At the very least, the Council should overwhelmingly approve a liquor license for D&D. Otherwise, the Council and the mayor's decision would affect the livelihood of D&D and its owners since they would be at a competiive disadvantage.

    1. Tisdahl E-Mails

      Shouldn't all those E-MAILS  be public record. They are ACTUALLY  Public Comment. 

      1. Emails

        If the mayor made a city decision based on the emails she recieved, state law meetings act would require her to release those emails to the public.She might be able to redact certain information, like names of her friends.

        She may have cooked her own goose, this time.

      2. They are public record.

        The emails are public record, but the Mayor is not obligated to regularly post and publicize the emails she receives as they come in.  If you want to see the emails she received on this issue, you will need to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

    2. Mayor or Manager—only need one.

      You wrote:

      "I think the Council should strip the mayor of this power. At the very least…"


      While I'm very dissapointed in Wally—I had high hopes when he started—why do we still have a Mayor and City Manager. One or the other.  Both are currently making sweeping decisions.  We need only one. Make the Mayor a cerimonial position–cut ribbons, go to block parties, etc—but no authority, no trips to other cities—including Springfield—to 'fact find.'  Let some expert make the decisions—though it seems not only the Mayor but Manager and Aldermen cannot be considered 'experts' or even informed amatures given the policy and financial decisions that have been made.

  4. liquor on noyes

    What is the ever-broadening urgency to sell booze in as many places as possible?  Too bad the mayor can't be consistent in her rulings..  Did someone forget to offer her a photo-op? That seems to be a compelling activity in business openings.

  5. Unfair

    Completely unjustified.  

    If D&D received their license, and then highly disruptive or illegal activity were occuring because of it, THEN the City can rightfully rescind the license from a proven, irresponsible holder.

    Right now, D&D deserves fair and equal treatment, free from the falsly predetermined, unfounded & spurious speculations formulated by a handwringing few.  

    This arbitrary decision is really what "creates disturbance" and "negative precedent" for the community.  I hope this council rectifies a wrong.      

  6. Ward 8? Peckish Pig?

    We lived in that neighborhood for 18 years and patronized D&D Finer Foods and D&D Dogs for that long. They are a good and responsible family-owned business.

    Noise? Not really, unless you live in a building full of students, then, well, you should expect some noise.  It sounds like some of those emails suggest a bunch of roudy kids hanging around lamposts with a bottle of cheap wine in a paper bag.

    There is no reason to dismiss this application. At all. After all, the city is an investor (of sorts) in a bar on Howard street and helped get the Peckish Pig brewpub started.

    And if other businesses requested a beer and wine license, where's the harm? It's not like this is going to become the bar district that Davis Street is becoming (and well done). 

    I'm guessing the mayor is just being prudish and wishing Evanston were still the HQ for the Women's Christian Temperance Union and wants to be tough on the number of licenses. That horse, Madam Mayor, is out of the barn (Ward Eight, Peckish Pug, Temperance, World of Beer, etc.). I would hate to think she is discriminating on some way.

    Or the Mayor really believes those emails as I am reasonably sure she doesn't venture into such a neighborhood.

    Or Mayor Tisdahl is simply favoring the other establishments.

    1. D&D History ?

      Does anyone remember more details of the history of that block ?

      In 1970 a Texaco gas station took up the whole area were D&D  and DD is now.

      I recall the Corinthian Column restaurant accross the street where Noyes Cafe [or one of the attached buildings] is now but I was told that there was also a grocery [probably D&D] there also but I sure don't remember it and would loved to have shopped there.  I heard D&D built where they are now in 1994 but I was back in the area in 1986 and am sure D&D was in thier current location by 1986.

      I think Noyes Court went from Noyes to Colfax until at least the late 70s.

      1. Things were different – I

        Things were different – I recall D&D was in a different neighborhood location – maybe where the Noyes Cafe is now, then moved to the present one. The Mandarin House was been there for a loooong time and I think they serve alcohol also but not sure. 

        Wow! The Corinthian Column! Excellent memory.

  7. D and D liquor license rejected

    I live in this neighborhood and go to D and D grocery and Dogs often.  I think it is totally unfair that DMK got a license and D and D was rejected.  Why can't I sit at their outside tables and enjoy a beer with my gyro or hot dog?  I think this is class warfare! I see absolutely no difference in enjoying a glass of wine here or there….they are only a few feet apart. I would like to know how many emails the mayor got to influence her decision.  I don't see the students being a problem at D and D Dogs.  They buy beer there so I can't quite figure why having a beer with a meal would be any different?  It isn't going to make them "hang out" anymore than they already do! Very unfair decision I think.

  8. C’mon now

    NU students aren't very rowdy in the first place, and folks shouldn't move into any college neighborhood if they're worried about noise. Really doesn't make sense that such an established Evanston restaurant can't get a liquor license.

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