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BREAKING: The Keg of Evanston will reopen Thursday night, owner says

Marshall Cohen

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The Keg of Evanston will reopen Thursday night, owner Tom Migon told The Daily in an exclusive interview.

Chicago-based licensing attorney Barry Holt, who is handling Migon’s appeal, said The Keg, 810 Grove St., could legally reopen and sell alcohol because a higher judicial body is reviewing the revocation decision issued by Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.

Migon told The Daily last week he had appealed Tisdahl’s decision to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. Todd Stephens, the attorney who handled the Evanston liquor board hearing, also confirmed the appeal last week.

Tisdahl revoked The Keg’s liquor license Jan. 30, just three days after a hearing of the city’s Liquor Control Review Board. In her written decision, she pointed to the climbing number of alcohol-related citations issued to underage patrons at the bar – 111 since 2005, including 19 in January alone.

In a statement released exclusively to The Daily, Migon warned underage drinkers from attempting to return to the downtown bar and said he bought new technology to weed out increasingly sophisticated fake identification.

“The Keg has purchased a Z-22 mobile ID scanner as an additional safety device,” Migon said in the statement. “This scanner reads driver’s licenses and state issued IDs with magnetic stripes and 2D bar codes from 50 states; all Canadian provinces; and military IDs.”

Migon met with Tisdahl “concerning the particulars of the appeal” on Thursday, according to the statement.

City spokesman Eric Palmer did not immediately return messages seeking comment Thursday.

Holt added that he expected to find out next month when the appeal hearing will occur.

The full text of the statement is below:

On Thursday, March 8, 2012, the Keg of Evanston reopened for business. The Keg is permitted to be open by virtue of the automatic stay provisions of the Illinois Liquor Control Act when an appeal has been taken from a decision of a local liquor commissioner suspending or revoking a liquor license. The Keg has filed an appeal to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission from the order entered January 30, 2012, by the City of Evanston local liquor control commission.

There have been news stories and other innuendo inferring that the ownership of the Keg was responsible for or had previous knowledge of the contents of a much-reported Twitter account. This Twitter account made statements to the effect that the Keg somehow either condoned or turned its back on underage drinking. Ownership of the Keg vehemently denies making any statements in any Twitter account or even having any knowledge of or connection with that Twitter account. The comments contained therein are completely opposite of the feelings of the Keg towards underage drinking and admission of minors into any establishment serving liquor.

The Keg will not only continue to deny admission to its premises to persons under the age of 21; the Keg will become even more pro active in the prosecution of minors who attempt to gain admission to the Keg by using false or altered identification.

All readers of this statement should know that no one is permitted into the Keg without a state or school issued driver’s license or identification bearing the picture and birth date of anyone seeking admission. Furthermore, anyone must have additional identification that is consistent with the photo ID in order to gain admission to the Keg.

The Keg wishes to warn any persons under the age of 21 seeking to gain admission to the Keg that they will be required to have a photo taken with their ID by the camera system that is maintained at the door of the Keg. Furthermore, the Keg has purchased a Z-22 mobile ID scanner as an additional safety device. This scanner reads driver’s licenses and state issued IDs with magnetic stripes and 2D bar codes from 50 states; all Canadian provinces; and military IDs. This scanner and the camera which has been in use at the Keg examines every person coming into or seeking to gain admission to the Keg.

The Keg will actively cooperate with all police agencies and aid in the prosecution of any minors seeking to gain admission to the Keg by using false or altered identification (no matter how sophisticated it may be).

While the Keg acknowledges that its ownership met with the Mayor of Evanston concerning the particulars of the appeal; out of respect for the City of Evanston and the legal process, ownership declines to and will not reveal any of the contents of said meeting.

The Keg wishes to send a warning to any minors in the North Shore area that may have the wrong perception concerning the Keg’s admission policies. Do not attempt to come to the Keg. You will not be admitted and you will be prosecuted which could result in your loss of driving privileges and your being fined.

Ownership of The Keg of Evanston

mc2014@u.northwestern.edu

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About the Writer
Marshall Cohen, Managing Editor

Marshall Cohen was a managing editor of The Daily. His other past positions include City editor and deputy City editor. He is from Livingston, N.J., and...