Northwestern University would be allowed to serve liquor to persons attending events at its renovated Welsh-Ryan Arena if Evanston aldermen approve a proposed change to the city’s liquor code Monday night.
Mayor Steve Hagerty and the Liquor Control Review Board have recommended approval of the change, which would be limited to the arena building and not authorize liquor sales at the football stadium or other sports venues on campus.
The liquor sales would be operated by Levy Catering, the school’s food and beverage provider, which the liquor board was told has “an exemplary compliance record” at venues it operates around the country.
The liquor sales proposal is separate from a zoning ordinance change requested by the university that would permit a limited number of professional sports or entertainment event to be held at the arena. That proposal is now scheduled to be considered by the Plan Commission at its Aug. 7 meeting. The zoning change had previously been scheduled for the July 10 Plan Commission meeting.
At a public meeting on the zoning change last month, some residents expressed fears that the liquor ordinance change would lead to an increase in disruptive behavior by fans in the neighborhood around NU’s Central Street athletic complex.
The university would pay the city $6,000 a year for the arena liquor license under the ordinance scheduled for a vote Monday.