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: Government Operations Committee, Committee of the Whole and City Council. The Government Operations Committee Meeting is the introduction of the request for a liquor license before three (3) Aurora Alderman 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 Alderman 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) alderman and the Mayor to discuss your request and application. There may be similar or more detailed questions from the Alderman regarding your request. This is the second level of approval. If the Alderman 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 then the license may be issued after a final inspection (may be waived) and full payment for the license will be expected within one week of the meeting.
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
- Certificate of incorporation from Illinois Secretary of State
- Seating chart drawn to scale, including outdoor patio space if applicable
- License fee
- Lease/proof of ownership
- Dram Shop Insurance (Liquor Liability Insurance)
- Current Certificate of Good Standing (Secretary of State)
- Current County Health Department Certificate
- Copy of Current Menu(s)
- Current/Valid State Liquor License
- BASSET Certificates for all employees that serve or sell alcohol
- CLASS B ONLY: Current list of names, dates of birth and addresses for Officers and Members
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 (PDF).
BASSET Training Information (Section 6-23)
View the BASSET website.
The entertainment reporting form (PDF) is due to the City Clerk at least 5 days prior to the event.
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.