Evanston Revokes Bar License After Underage Drinking Incidents

UPDATED: 1/30/2011 10 p.m.

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — In Evanston, the mayor has revoked the liquor license of a popular nightclub which has become well-known among teenagers.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, who is also the Evanston city liquor commissioner, decided to shut down The Keg, at 810 Grove St. in downtown Evanston, for repeated incidents of underage drinking.

“It is always an extremely difficult decision to revoke a license of a local business, but I have to also consider the health and welfare of the community as a whole,” Tisdahl said in announcing her decision. “Serving minors alcohol is a serious matter that cannot be left unaddressed.”

Tweets about The Keg have read, “Oh my God, I can’t believe we got in,” and, “The Keg knows no age.”

“It was easy to get in whether you had a real or fake ID,” Abby Gardner, a Northwestern University student, tells CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole.

But this was not always the case. Evanston Liquor Control Review Board member Richard Peach says he and his wife used to go there.

“They had a wonderful dining room area and a great salad bar; a terrific menu – a really nice place to dine,” he said.

Then in 2005, tragedy struck. An Evanston man was shot and killed inside the bar, and the Keg’s liquor license was temporarily suspended.

“He was told then that he was on a very short leash,” Peach said.

The license was restored, but Peach says problems continued.

“On January 6, the police went in there and busted 17 kids for underage drinking,” Peach said.

If the mayor revokes the license, the owner can appeal to the Illinois State Liquor Control Commission.

The Keg’s owner, Tom Mignon, and his attorney declined comment Monday.

At Nevin’s Pub around the corner, manager Jared Beatty showed a stack of confiscated phony IDs.  He says making carding a priority is the only way to uphold the city’s liquor laws.

“We have reputation of being hard on underage drinking and we like to keep it that way,” he says. “When you are 21 and you drink, you have a certain level of maturity. When you are 18 and you drink, bad things can happen.”

  • InalienableWrights

    God forbid that your owners would allow men old enough to die in combat to drink a beer,

    • LOL


      • Afro

        Agree we used to say “old enough to serve, old enough to be served.”

  • Nickie Barron Misialek

    As a former bartender, this place should be shut down…..I can’t believe it hasn’t already…seriously, WHAT business in this day and age would want that kind of liability?? Unless business is that BAD that those are the only patrons coming in…lol

    • InalienableWrights

      Nick your comment makes no sense. You ask who would want the liability and say it should be shut down. What the heck are you trying to say as you did not say much.

    • George

      Nickie sounds like a victim of his own poison

  • Dave

    This mayor is blowing this way out of proportion!

    • InalienableWrights

      Dave if you were the head of a major crime syndicate, like the Mayor is, you would want the sheeple looking elsewhere also……

  • Roberta Waker

    The article didn’t say how old the teenagers were – 14, 15, 17? It would be nice to know; not that it matters. Maybe it isn’t right that an 18 year old can serve his/her country and die for it, but not be able to drink legally, but unless it gets changed, it IS the law. A drunk 18 year old in the military can kill just as dead as a sober 18 year old – difference is unimpaired judgement on the sober one who might not kill his fellow soldiers by mistake.

    • InalienableWrights

      Roberta F the law. The law has also said at times that black people were slaves. I guess you would like that law too.

      • SlaveryReally

        Your comment is ignorant. It’s the law deal… You must be underage, Just sit by the liquor store and ask somebody to buy your beer. Loser Thanks for the laughs this morning!

  • dan

    The idiot owner by letting kids have the run of the place probably chased away all the legal customers who wouldn’t want to be drinking with a bunch of young snots

    • Gene

      That can work two ways, dan. That also means there will be young pu$$y in the bar for the taking as well! Everyone likes the premium!

      • 38Special

        Gene you are the most logical thinking one here. Not that I’m on the hunt but I remember the days ROFLMAO

  • Doby

    Wuz day wite kidz wuz da oaner wite

  • Another N W A

    I’m surprised to see this article in CBS, the only thing this racist paper ever reports on is black crime. Everyday it’s Black man done this and black man done did that dam racist news paper!

  • hey y'all

    Nick is making a point. The bar can be sued for someone leaving overserved and killing someone while driving. If it’s an underager, the bar is looking at more legal problems. The owner was wanting to make an extra buck and was willing to let the underagers in.

    Invest in the electronic ID scanners for the bars and you won’t see the underagers at the bars anymore.

    BTW, it was almost 30 years ago that the drinking age was changed from 18 to 21. It was changed in 1985.

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