New Liquor License ProcessIt is recommended that for all NEW establishments with new construction or businesses moving into new spaces within the City of Aurora that would be a different use than the space previously been used in the past at the location to schedule a Development Services Team (DST) meeting (Brochure). At the meeting there will be representatives from divisions across the City that will help answer all development questions regarding your proposed venture. Please contact the Planning and Zoning Department for more information. The City Clerk is invited to attend all meetings when an applicant has indicated an interest in a pursuing a liquor license.
After a DST (if needed) or at minimum of ninety (90) days from the intended opening date it is recommended that the liquor license application is submitted for review. The application is reviewed by multiple City staff members prior to being reviewed by the Mayor’s Office. A new liquor license application on average takes approximately two (2) months from when a complete application is received to reach the approval stage. Some of the factors that may be considered during the review involve the following:
- Review of zoning if the location is approved for the issuance of a liquor license per the ordinance
- Square footage of the building or space per requirements
- Parking lot and space requirements
- Need for a special use permit
- Distance from a church or school
- Confirmation that the proposed configuration meets all pertinent aspects of the Building Code as adopted by the City of Aurora
- A certificate of occupancy would also be needed prior to the issuance of the liquor license.
- Financial accounts are in good standing with the City for this and any other establishments with the same owners in the City
- Background check of owners and managers for the establishment
The City Council approval takes place over the course of three (3) different meetings: Public Health, Safety & Transportation (PHST) Committee, Committee of the Whole and City Council. The PHST Committee Meeting is the introduction of the request for a liquor license before five (5) Aurora Aldermen who are members of the Committee. Typically questions will be asked regarding the request and the establishment. This is the first level of approval. If the Aldermen are in favor of your request it will be recommended to be considered at the next level in the approval process: Committee of the Whole. This meeting will be held before all twelve (12) Aldermen and the Mayor to discuss your request and application. There may be similar or more detailed questions from the Aldermen regarding your request. This is the second level of approval. If the Aldermen are in favor of your request it will be recommended for the next and final step in the approval process: City Council. At City Council the Aldermen vote on the approval of the issuance of the license. If approved, the license may be issued after a final inspection (may be waived) and full payment for the license along with all other requirements, must be completed prior to issuance of the license.
The requirement for a complete liquor application includes the following:
- $250 application fee
- City of Aurora Liquor License Application (LLA)
- City of Aurora Financial Disclosure Form (FDF)
- State of Illinois Liquor Control Commission License Application
- Certificate of registration (Food and Beverage Tax or Packaged Liquor Tax)
- Certificate of occupancy
- Articles of Incorporation from the Illinois Secretary of State
- Seating chart drawn to scale, including outdoor patio space if applicable
2021 - Liquor License Renewal Application (New)A shorter and simpler Renewal Application will be used for the 2021-2022 licensing year. The authorized agent(s) completing the application will be required to swear to the validity of the answers provided on the application. The application is available here, however, if you'd prefer a paper application please contact the City Clerk's Office at [email protected]
- License fee (if applicable-see application)
- Disclosure of Business Structure/Ownership Changes or Management is Required
- Lease/proof of ownership if modifications have been made in the last 12 months
- Dram Shop Insurance (Liquor Liability Insurance) - Must name the City of Aurora as a Certificate holder
- Is the Business in Good Standing with the Illinois Secretary of State
- Current County Health Department Certificate
- Video Gaming Audit (if applicable) 2021 Video Gaming Audit
- Copy of Current Menu if Changed in the last 12 months
- Current/Valid State Liquor License
- BASSET Certificates for all employees that serve or sell alcohol and that are not already on file with the City of Aurora.
- SOCIAL CLUBS ONLY: Current list of names, dates of birth and addresses for Officers
- Background checks for all owners, officers and managers required every 3 years. 2021 Fingerprint Information
2021 - Endorsement Application (New)Please complete this application if you want to add any of the listed endorsements to your liquor license. The available endorsements are listed on the application along with the license classes that are eligible to apply for endorsements. Please note that submission of an Endorsement Application does not guarantee that an endorsement will be granted. All applications will be reviewed by the appropriate reviewing body, specifically the Local Liquor Control Commissioner and/or the City Council.
2021 Endorsement Application
Change of Manager (Section 6-20)
Any changes in manager(s) require a background check. Please follow these instructions:
Background Check Applicant Instructions (PDF)
Background Check Application (PDF)
Out of State Applicant Information (PDF)
Temporary Liquor Permit (Section 6-10)
Access the temporary liquor permit application here (PDF).
BASSET Training Information (Section 6-23)
View the BASSET website.
As a requirement per your liquor license, the Entertainment Report is due to the City Clerk at least 5 days prior to the event. Please follow these instructions to submit your events via the City's entertainment calendar online.
Outdoor Seating PermitAn outdoor seating permit is required for all new outdoor seating areas established on or after March 28, 2017 for liquor license holders. Please reference Sec. 6-13(g) for requirements. Complete and submit the application to the City Clerk to obtain approval from the Local Liquor Control Commissioner prior to building or using the outdoor space for the service of alcoholic beverages.
New Year’s Eve
Per Sec. 6-28 (b)(1) any license classification which allows for the consumption of alcoholic liquor on the premises may remain open until 2:00 a.m. on New Years Day. An establishment may request to sell alcoholic liquor between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day subject to provisions in the code. The fee is $50.00 and shall be submitted with the application to the City Clerk’s office on or before December 15th to be considered. Not all who apply will be issued a permit and it subject to the approval of the Local Liquor Control Commissioner.
St. Patrick’s Day
License classifications which allow for the for the consumption of alcoholic liquor on the premises may remain open one additional hour on the day after St. Patrick’s Day, March 18th for the consumption of alcohol on premises only. To be eligible the establishment must have Live acts, which include vocal soloists or groups, instrumental soloists or groups (excluding DJ’s), hired as entertainment for the evening of March 17th and menus must be in effect and food must be served and prepared on the premises, for the entire time of operation. Alcohol sales must end at least 30 minutes prior to closing. The fee is $50.00 and shall be submitted with the application to the City Clerk’s office to be considered. Not all who apply will be issued a permit and it subject to the approval of the Local Liquor Control Commissioner.
Cinco de Mayo
License classifications which allow for the for the consumption of alcoholic liquor on the premises may remain open one additional hour on the day after Cinco de Mayo, May 5th for the consumption of alcohol on premises only. To be eligible the establishment must have Live acts, which include vocal soloists or groups, instrumental soloists or groups (excluding DJ’s), hired as entertainment for the evening of May 5th and menus must be in effect and food must be served and prepared on the premises, for the entire time of operation. Alcohol sales must end at least 30 minutes prior to closing. The fee is $50.00 and shall be submitted with the application to the City Clerk’s on or before April 26th to be considered. Not all who apply will be issued a permit and it subject to the approval of the Local Liquor Control Commissioner.