Evanston City Council approves Starbucks liquor license, e-cigarette restrictions

    Evanston City Council voted Monday evening to grant a liquor license to the Starbucks on Sherman Ave. It also banned the use of e-cigarettes in public places.

    The coffee chain will serve craft beer and wine after 4:00 p.m. Customers will only be able to order one alcoholic drink at a time, which will be served in a glass.

    The move is part of a national strategy on the part of Starbucks to extend its business into the evening hours. There are currently locations serving alcohol in Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles and other cities, according to Starbucks regional director Paul Groshko.

    Later, City Council extended the Evanston Clear Air Act to include restrictions on e-cigarettes. Effective immediately, the vapor-producing devices may not be used inside businesses and public places, or within 25 feet of building entrances.

    The ordinance passed eight-to-one, with Alderman Ann Rainey, Eighth Ward, voting against. Rainey argued for businesses to make their own e-cigarette policies and for the council to hold off on passing judgment on the potential risks of e-cigarettes, which are not regulated by the federal government.

    “Every effort humanly possible to help people to quit smoking should be encouraged,” Rainey said.

    City Council also approved a binding referendum asking voters whether or not to dissolve Evanston Township. It will be voted on by township voters during the next primary election in 2014.

    City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz announced that he will not accept compensation as Evanston Township supervisor, a role he assumed following the resignation of Gary Gaspard.


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