A published report claims The Keg in downtown Evanston may soon lose its lease.

The Daily Northwestern quotes bar owner Tom Migon as saying he’s still trying to negotiate a renewal of the lease, which is up at the end of the month.

The city revoked the liquor license for The Keg, at 810 Grove St., last year, over reports of widespread underage drinking, but with legal appeals continuing, the bar has remained open.

The Daily quotes an unnamed city official as saying the lease likely will not be renewed by the building’s owner.

Original story

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Some people just don’t know when to quit…

    How this this place still open?  The cohones on Mr. Migon have grown unethically too large.  His shady business practices have produced a shady place for shady people to do shady things.  It's time to move on already and let someone take over the space who's interested in following the law.

  2. Necessary evil?

    Two thoughts:

    1. There are a lot of empty storefronts in the area, so filling this one if he leaves may not be easy for the owner.

    2. Unfortunately, every college has a bar like this. I know my alma mater had an equivalent nearby. The university proclaimed to hate it, but knew the transfer rate would rise if it closed.

  3. Evanston needs more bars.

    OK..the Keg isn't the greatest place…but I walked by the World of Beers, and it looked like a nice place….a good crowd of people, most younger than 40 but a few over 60…having a good time, not hurtin anyone, and paying taxes.

    I saw this article by Matthew Yglesias in Slate today:

    Your Neighborhood Needs More Bars
    How NIMBY stupidity is stifling urban bars and restaurants—and blocking a major opportunity for small-business growth

    An interesting thing happened in my neighborhood recently. A small posse of local busybodies organized as the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance proposed a moratorium on new liquor licenses for the increasingly vibrant nightlife corridors on 14th Street and U Street in Washington, D.C. Similar moratoria already constrain longer-established D.C. drinking hubs, and when I heard about the Shaw Dupont proposal, initially I felt despondent. But, in fact, the NIMBYs look set to lose. A guy named Michael Hamilton founded a counter-group called In My Backyard—D.C. to argue for growth-friendly policies.

    That's what Evanston needs…an organization like "In My Backyard" to fight against the numerous stupid  NIMBY organizations ("Friends of the Georgian",ECRD,CSNA,etc.) that pop up every year.  

    Yglesias goes on to say

    "Refusing to grant liquor licenses undoes the decades of history that brought us big-box stores. It just leads to empty storefronts and car rides out to Ikea or Costco. ….. And those smallish and idiosyncratic structures are ideal spaces for bars and restaurants—much better than personality-free malls. Even better is that the Internet isn’t going to put restaurants out of business, for obvious reasons."

    He's got a good point…we can never compete with  Old Orchard when it comes to free parking, and if you want a big lawn for your SUV, you're better off in Schaumburg…..but downtown Evanston needs density, more people, and more bars.

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