Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Robert J. O'Connor

Liquor Licensing

    • Chapter 6 of the Municipal Code

      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. 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 where 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:

      • Complete application (main section, business information sheet, financial disclosure form, personal information form, probationary agreement/management plan)
      • Personal Information Form
        • Fee dependent on the selected vendor. The City Clerk will send out instructions for background check upon receipt of the Personal Information Form
      • Revenue and Collections F&B applications
      • Required information:
        • $250.00 Application fee
        • Certificate of registration (Food & Beverage Tax)
        • Certificate of Occupancy
        • Certificate of Incorporation
        • Seating chart drawn to scale, including outdoor patio space if applicable
        • Lease/Proof of Ownership
        • Dram Shop Insurance (Liquor Liability Insurance)
        • County Health Department Certificate
        • Menu (if applicable)
        • State Liquor License
        • State-Certified Beverage Alcohol Sellers/Servers Training Certificates for all employees selling or serving alcohol
      • Liquor License Renewal
      • Renewals are completed on an annual basis. When a liquor license is issued for the initial period of time the annual renewal cycle is established. Classes A and B run from September 1st through August 31st of the following year. All other licenses run on a May 1st through April 30th cycle.

        • Complete application
        • 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 (Sec. 6-20)
      • Temporary Liquor Permit (Sec. 6-10)
        • A temporary liquor permit is needed when sales of alcohol will be requested at a special event. No more than three (3) licenses to one entity may be issued during a calendar year.
        • Application
        • $25.00 per day fee (maximum of four 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 (Sec. 6-23)
    • Entertainment Reporting