SYCAMORE – The City Council voted Monday night to change how the city distributes and categorizes liquor licenses in the city.
The four video gambling cafés in town now have their own class, VG, and will be transferred from the Class B designation for bars.
The ordinance passed 7-1, with 2nd Ward alderman Chuck Stowe casting the vote against.
The number of Class VG licenses available, currently four, is based on population, although the ordinance allows the council to create additional licenses by a three-fourths majority vote or to add one for every 4,375-person increase in population.
Another vote at the meeting adjusted the total number of Class B licenses from 12 to 11, eight of which will be in use once the video gambling cafes have their licenses transferred.
City Manager Brian Gregory said at some point, new bars might open in the city with the new rules, but some businesses operating under a restaurant license might immediately move to the bar license.
The ordinance also allows the Sycamore State Theatre to begin selling beer and wine, although with restrictions: Anyone wishing to buy alcohol must wear a wristband, and sales are limited to one beverage per person per trip.
“That’s to control that someone is not sharing with someone underage,” Gregory said.
The theater will also have to sell the alcohol in containers distinct from non-alcoholic beverages sold at the theater, and the beverages will be sold at a separate space from the concessions area.
A license for a video gambling cafe will cost $1,500 per year, and a license for the theater will cost $1,000 per year, Gregory said.
The council also voted for Sycamore to join the Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network, a statewide collection of agencies that assist in the event of disaster.
“We have good relationships with surrounding communities,” Gregory said. “What this does is formalize that and expand that network.”
Membership dues are based on a city’s population and will cost Sycamore $250 per year.