Evanston police say they caught three restaurants selling liquor to under-age customers this month.

The police say they used teens posing as alcohol purchasers under police surveillance in checking 42 locations.

That’s somewhat less than half the 104 places with liquor licenses in the city.

Citations were issued to Blue Stone Restaurant, 1932 Central St., and Farmhouse Tavern, 703 Church St. on Monday, Sept. 9, and to World of Beer, 1601 Sherman Ave., on Monday, Sept. 16.

The compliance checks are conducted annually and are funded in part by a federal grant to the Evanston Substance Abuse and Prevention Coalition.

Police say the goal of the checks is to ensure that alcohol is only sold to adults, age 21 or older, and that establishments are properly asking for identification to verify the age requirement.

The citations will be heard at an administrative adjudication hearing at the Civic Center.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Focus on something else

    Police, focus on harmful crime in the city instead of an 18 or 19yr old having a beer.

    How are those unsolved murders going?

      1. Spot on!

        Spot on! Never thought about it that way, but you are so right. Underage liquor citations vs. gun crime? Piece o' cake! Lost all respect for them with all the shootings going on, followed the very next day by pulling people over left and right for traffic violations. Thank you for putting it there is such B&W!

      2. Doubtful it’s about revenue.

        I doubt this is about revenue.  Conducting a "sting" at 42 restaurants to only write citations to three (not including court time) is not a revenue generator — the City probably lost money on such an effort.

        That being said, I think our 21 year old drinking age in Illinois (and the rest of the country) is ludicrous, especially considering an 18 y/o can vote, go to war, go to jail, sign a contract, etc.

    1. What about foot patrols


      What about the "foot patrols" on Central St around dusk – seen 2 or 3 of them lately.

      How about patrolling by the High School?

      How about patrolling areas that have documented trouble according to crime maps?

  2. Waste of resources

    Is this really a good use of our police resources when our town has real problems and folks being shot?

    Instead of a team of police spending days on this endevour, have them spend that time out of their cars and  visible in the community.

    Tricking three out of 42 establishments into serving a 19 year old a beer, and now what? Have these police spend even more time in court testifying about this nonsense?  Meanwhile real and violent crime in Evanston continues.

    1. Substance abuse is a problem

      Kids should not be drinking.  Restaurants should not be serving them.  This is the law and it should be enforced.

      This is not nonsense.  I suspect that more lives are "lost" to alcoholism that to gun shots. 

  3. Liquor checks at leading restaurants — ridiculous

    With murders and driving mishaps and drug sales running amok, must we devote scarce resources to a set up for a young person enjoying a drink at a reasonable location not filled with NU student drunks?  Besides monumental poor thinking, it's a ridiculous use of manpower.  Help us.

    1. ‘Small'(?) problems add up

      Drinking by anyone 'can' cause a problem but those under 21 who drinks have already shown what they think of the law. They will also be more willing to drive after drinking esp. if they have to drive to get there. With youth hormones more likely(?) to get into fights.

      NY city found going after 'small' crimes had a substantial effect on crime in general.  Getting people to obey the laws as they exist alert people that those laws will be enforced and teach them before they get to the 'big' crimes the author wants prevented. 

      If people learn that littering, endangering people by riding on sidewalks where illegal, not drinking/smoking when underage, etc., maybe 'more serious' bad behavior and 'real' crimes will be prevented.

      Of course in Evanston there is a large body of those well sheltered who think they are 'just having fun', innocent lambs who should be allowed to do whatever they want since everyone is 'good at heart' and it is only a cruel society that keeps people down trodden and so they should be excused for whatever they do.

      1. That’s right…and a law is a

        That's right…and a law is a law, is a law!   I wish I had a ticket book in my car for all the folks yakking on their cell phones….double parking, and littering.

        If people cannot respect city laws and policies, then they deserve to get ticketed.  And yes, people who ignore the "little rules" DO show that they have no respect, and will most likely not think twice about the big pitcure.

        It's like when you're raising young kids…..they need to learn the little Yesses and Nos so that they will know the difference between right and wrong.  

      2. The Law

        === Drinking by anyone 'can' cause a problem but those under 21 who drinks have already shown what they think of the law. ===

        Just like those over and under 21 thought of the law during prohibition.  People generally follow laws that make sense and are justifiable, and ignore laws that are not.   I drank when I was under 21, and I would continue to drink if the drinking age was raised to 70… if you drink alcohol (and are under 70) I bet you would too.

  4. Bluestone should know better

    Bluestone should know better, but the other two restaurants have been in business less than a year. Probably they aren't familiar with the enforcement procedures here or don't have the right connections to get tipped off.

  5. Enforcement

    When the police don't do these required checks people get online and post how the police ignore the problem. The Keg got a lot of attention for serving underage kids and there were constant comments about the police not doing their job. Now the police, not patrol units are doing what is required and the postings are negative. The underage drinking as the Keg displayed led to many more issues inside and outside the establishment part of what these checks are designed to prevent. To the court time comments. These are compliance citations and stand alone at the hearings. No officer is required to attend so no street time lost. Remember the department has over 160 members and many units. So a couple officers doing one of many required job functions in no way reduces the safety of the community but increaseses the safety of those wanting to purchase alcohol underage and maintains the integretiy and public view of our business community.

    1. Still the wrong focus

      I don't think the comparison to the Keg is valid at all. Police should and do focus on problem establishments. The reason is they create problems and people call the police and complain. Correct me if I am wrong, but I'm pertty sure no one is complaining about drunken violence at places like Noodles and Company or Chipotle. Yet this was a wide scale sting trying to trick 42 restaurants like those.

      This type of thing does take police resources, and I would imagine the number of officer hours spent planning and carrying this out is well into the hundreds. It does not make any sense to me to do this. 

  6. Mayor ‘Frances Willard’ Tisdahl’s dream come true

    Not to mimick the comments already left, but come on EPD. I know Mayor "Frances Willard" Tisdahl believes 19 year old kids having a beer is among the biggest threats to this town (see the Keg debacle), but we citizens deserve better. Focus that time and manpower on Evanston's real social problems, not the random enforcement of an arbitrary and in many ways antiquated law.

    1. Same – Same

      This is pretty much the same way liquor laws are enforced in most other cities. As for the mayor, sheis more in tune with pot than liquor.

  7. I would like to thank the

    I would like to thank the Evanston Police Department, the Evanston Substance Abuse and Prevention Coalition, and the teens who helped out by posing as potential underage drinkers, for the extremely efficient use of the city's physical and fiscal resources to combat one of the most important problems our city faces……the consumption of alcohol by minors. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that a 19 or 20 year old, whom we as a country trust to vote for our nation's leaders, act as a juror in our legal system, and swear an oath to defend our country with his or her life, can just walk into any bar in town and order a beer before they're 21!! Thanks again to all of you involved in preventing that from happening. You all deserve medals!

  8. ID enforcement

    Something that makes it difficult for waitstaff is that every state has a different looking drivers license, different placement of information, different types of security tags, different color coded photo backgrounds, changes made every year, etc etc etc.

    Today the art of fake id forgery is so good that one needs to become a virtual expert at spotting them and it's not easy.  Govt. sends out this ridiculous book, over 100 pages long, detailing the looks and security for each id.  I guess they believe it reasonable and realistic that every busy server will or even can memorize all that or stop and constantly thumb through that book.     

    In a university town like Evanston, ID's are coming in from every state and virtually every nation in the world.  

    Not that it's an excuse for not carding or asking for a second ID.  I do not understand why there can be no uniformity in something as simple as a drivers license,  it's much harder than it needs to be and the justification is IMO, pretty warrantless.

  9. Not kids.

    Well, according to the law, these are not kids.  These are adults (18-20).  It would be more accurate to rephrase your comment that some adults, under a certain age, should not drink.

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