Aldermen reverse mayor’s D&D Dogs liquor decision

Alderman issued a rare reversal of a mayoral liquor decision Monday, granting D&D Dogs owners’ request for a liquor license after another restaurant on the block had received one earlier.

In July, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, who acts as the city’s liquor commissioner, denied D&D, at 825 Noyes St., a Class D liquor license. The licence would permit the restaurant ,which sells hot dogs, sandwiches and salads, to sell beer and wine with its meals.

Tisdahl’s decision came as aldermen were debating whether to grant a liquor license to DMK Burger & Fish. located down the street at 815 Noyes.

Some neighbors raised concerns about that application, and whether expanding liquor sales would create noise and other problems for their residential neighborhoods nearby.

During citizen comment, former 1st Ward Alderman Art Newman, attorney for D&D, argued in support of the business receiving a license.

D&D has been at its location 40 years compared to roughly a year for DMK. The restaurant pays $46,000 in real estate taxes, and almost $24,000 on the sale of liquor at its grocery store, adjacent to the restaurant, Newman said.

The restaurant has a special scanning machine to check Northwestern University students for authentic ID’s, he said.

“They are anchors of Noyes Street,” partly responsible for the diverse group of businesses there, argued Newman.

“One of the owners is present seven days a week,” he said. “You can trust D&D to follow the law. You can trust them to be good citizens.”

Aldermen voted 7-1, more than the two thirds vote needed to reverse Tisdahl’s ruling, with Alderman Mark Tendam, casting the lone dissenting vote.

Before the vote, Tisdahl spoke about why she rejected D&D’s application.

She said her vote was never a reflection on the people who own or run D&D and have been solid neighborhood people. Rather, she said her decision took note that D&D, as a hot dog establishment, would be setting a precedent, resulting in “other establishments in with the name of “dogs” in their titles, “ seeking liquor licenses as well.”

She said that kind of decision would affect not only Noyes “but neighborhoods throughout Evanston.’’

Tendam, joined her noting the precedent set in granting a license “in places that are, if not hot dogs stands, perceived as such.”

He pointed to one in his ward, The Little Island, formerly Hot Dog Island, at 2600 Crawford Ave., which “sits in the middle of an intersection. It’s not at the intersection –it’s in the intersection,” he stressed.

Ald. Ann Rainey, said she viewed D&D differently from other hot stands in the city. Other hot dog stands haven’t exhibited the responsibility D&D has shown, holding a complete liquor licensee for sales in its attached grocery store, “where every kind of spirit imaginable is on their shelves.”

“I think they’re truly different than a hot dog stand,’’ she said.

Ald. Judy Fiske, in whose ward D&D is located, and who had voiced concern about DMK Burger’s license, said D&D, with 40 years experience, was also different from other establishments, in that “I don’t know of any restaurant which has done more for its neighbors,” she said.

She said the owner’s pride extends to care of the property.

“I saw someone there dusting awnings,” she said.

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