Liquor Licensing

New Liquor License Process

It 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
After all internal reviews are completed a review is conducted by the Mayor to determine whether the applicant meets the requirements set forth in the ordinance and the proposed business would be a positive addition to the community and surrounding area. If the Mayor is in favor of extending a liquor license to the establishment then the Mayor would make a recommendation to City Council to increase the number of liquor licenses available in the specified class. The approval is required by City Council because only City Council can approve the increase in liquor licenses per class by ordinance.
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:

Required Information

  • Certificate of Good Standing from the Illinois Secretary of State
  • Lease/Proof of Ownership
  • Dram Shop Insurance (Liquor Liability Insurance)
  • County Health Department Certificate
  • Menu (if applicable)
  • State-Certified Beverage Alcohol Sellers/Servers Training Certificates for all employees selling or serving alcohol
  • Personal Information Form (PIF) for owners, officers and managers

Liquor License Renewal

Complete the application (PDF)

Required Information

  • 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)

View the change in manager form (PDF). The fee is dependent on the selected vendor. The City Clerk will send out instructions for background check upon receipt of the Personal Information Form

Temporary Liquor Permit (Section 6-10)

Access the temporary liquor permit application (PDF).

Required Information

  • $25 per day fee (maximum of 4 consecutive days)
  • Dram Shop Insurance (Liquor Liability Insurance) to the maximum amount covering the day(s) of the event.
  • State Liquor License
  • BASSET Training Certificates
  • Any other documents the local liquor commissioner may request pursuant to state or local liquor control laws, rules and regulations.

BASSET Training Information (Section 6-23)

View the BASSET website.

Entertainment Reporting

The entertainment reporting form (PDF) is due to the City Clerk at least 5 days prior to the event.

Outdoor Seating Permit

An 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 Day Extended Hours Permit

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 application for New Year's Day 2019 is available here. 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.