Zion-Benton News

Callie’s lose its appeal against city

By: Mona Shannon
Zion-Benton News staff

Judge Richard R. Haymaker ruled in favor of the City of Zion in the appeal filed by Callie’s at Market Square regarding it’s city liquor license. The appeal questioned the sufficiency of evidence the Liquor Control Commission used to determine the violation.
Attorney Robert O’Donnell represented Market Square Hospitality, LLC doing business as Callie’s and Scott Puma represented the Zion Liquor Control Commission.

City ordinance states that a Class B license allows retail sale of alcoholic liquor in hotels for consumption on premises in restaurants of 50 seats or more and only at tables when patrons are offered a complete meal.

After Zion police officers visited Callie’s in March 2016 and counted the chairs the Zion Liquor Commission ruled that Callie’s did not meet the requirement of a restaurant with 50 seats or more providing tableside service to patrons of a complete meal.

Zion Police Officer James Krein testified that on March 15, 2016, he counted usable seats at each table which totaled 36. He testified there were additional chairs located in Callie’s but they were unusable. He testified some tables had too many chairs pushed up to them to allow comfortable seating and some tables where unusable because there was merchandise on them.

It was noted that the ordinance also requires that the seats be around the tables during the time patrons are offered a complete meal and that if the tables were covered with merchandise it is not unreasonable to determine the tables and chairs were not usable for a complete meal.

The Zion Liquor Commission ruled Callie’s in violation of the local liquor ordinance and assessed a $1,000 fine.

Market Square Hospitality filed an appeal. Richard Haymaker, the Administrative Law Judge for the Illinois Liquor Control Commission heard the case.

As part of its case, Callie’s presented photos of the tables and chairs. In his ruling, the Judge Haymaker stated it was difficult to determine from the photos whether Callie’s is a restaurant, as required by the Zion liquor ordinance, or a cafe, a sundry store, or a retail clothing and accessory store and that the ‘restaurant’ space clearly offers more for sale than just food and drink.

“Second, based on the the table and chair configurations, it is not unreasonable to conclude that not all of the fifty seats could accommodate a “complete meal,” the findings stated. It goes on to state that if a complete meal could not be served at one of the tables, it is reasonable to conclude the licensee was not compliant with the ordinance.

Judge Haymaker ruled there are sufficient facts to affirm the ruling of the Zion Liquor Control Commission to assess a $1,000 fine for non-compliance.
Delaine Rogers, managing director of Market Square Hospitality, LLC, said while the ruling is disheartening it was not unexpected because this is an administrative process. She said Market Square Hospitality filed its secondary response on March 17. With the secondary appeal, the case goes to the full review board. If it continues from there it will go to the circuit court.