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Liquor License

The complete requirements, rules and regulations regarding the sale and serving of alcohol within the City limits of Elmhurst are outlined in Chapter 36 of the City of Elmhurst Municipal Code.

CSSP GRAPHICOnline Licensing: Citizen Self-Service Portal
The City's online Citizen Self-Service Portal allows users to apply for a liquor license, track their license, submit documents, and communicate with staff. Anyone seeking a liquor license in the City of Elmhurst will be required to utilize the Citizen Self-Service Portal. 

Sign up or access the Citizen Self-Service Portal here.

Instructions on how to create a Citizen Self-Service account.
View step-by-step directions on how to Apply online here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Clerk's Office at 630-530-3010.
Liquor License Information
Applying for a New Liquor License
Applying for a new Liquor License is an extensive process that may take up to three months. There are a finite number of liquor licenses available in various classifications.

Applicants must create an account or login to the Citizen Self-Service Portal to complete the Liquor License Application,  as well as the Background Check Application , and submit both online, along with all background check fees, to begin the liquor license process. The owners and liquor managers of the business are required to take part in a background check, please see below.

Along with the aforementioned applications, interested parties must submit a letter to the Liquor Control Commissioner requesting an additional liquor license be added to the Municipal Code in the classification category that best suits their business and summarizes the need for the license. Applicants must also include their business and floor plans for review.

Review Process
The Liquor Control Commissioner will refer the request to the Public Affairs and Safety Committee at the next City Council meeting.

The Public Affairs and Safety Committee will invite the applicant to come before them and present their business plan. The Committee then forwards their recommendation to the City Council on whether or not to add another liquor license for said business.

The City Council then votes on the Committee report. If the Committee report is approved, at their next Council meeting, the City Council will vote on an ordinance increasing the number of liquor licenses in the appropriate classification.

After completion of the background check, the results and the liquor license application are forwarded back to the Liquor Control Commissioner.

Once the Liquor Control Commissioner signs their approval to the background check and application, the application is returned to the City Clerk to attest and the Liquor License is issued.

Currently, the Mayor serves as the Liquor Commissioner for the City and is the final authority in the approval process for a liquor applicant.

New Liquor Code Amendment Ordinance (Passed June 4, 2024) 
Background Check for Liquor
There is an extensive background check requirement for any owner with 5% or more ownership and liquor managers are required to complete a background check. If there is any change in the Liquor Manager at your establishment, you must notify the City Clerk’s office and submit a Background Check Application in the Citizen Self-Service Portal.

$600/per applicant (non-refundable)
BASSET Training
All liquor managers, bartenders, sellers, and servers of alcoholic beverages employed by the licensee, on and off premises sales, are required to complete a State of Illinois certified alcohol awareness program. Certificates of completion need to be filed with the City Clerk’s office.
The City of Elmhurst Police Department hosts BASSET Certification training at a reduced rate several times throughout the year. See below for online registration.

Municipal Ordinance requires all persons who work within the city limits of Elmhurst must attend the classroom session of the Basset certification. Participants who work outside the city limits of Elmhurst are welcome to attend as well.

All persons interested in acquiring or renewing a Basset Certification must complete the online registration below and submit it prior to the class date. If at the time of registration a class is full, you will be notified immediately. Class size is limited to 20 participants. Participation in the class is $30.  Payment may be made at the time of class with a check, or money order (made out to the City of Elmhurst). Participants may also submit cash at the time of class, or prior to class unless other arrangements have been made.

For more information contact Detective Jeff Kucera at (630)530-6338.  

B.A.S.S.E.T. Training Online Registration
Hours of Liquor Sales

Hours of liquor sales are as follows for all licensed establishments:

Day Time
Sunday - Thursday 6:00 a.m. - 12:45 a.m. of the following day
Friday - Saturday 6:00 a.m. - 1:45 a.m. of the following day
Christmas Day Sunday - Thursday hours shall be enforced
New Year's Eve 6:00 a.m. - 2:45 a.m. of the following day for all classes of licenses

Except for 15 minutes after the hours specified for sale of alcoholic beverages, it shall be unlawful for patrons to remain during the closing hours specified in this Section in the premises where alcoholic beverages are served.
Insurance Requirements
All licensees shall have in effect, prior to the issuance of any license hereunder, liquor liability insurance with limits of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) combined single limit or one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) per occurrence and per aggregate, and licensees shall submit a certificate or policy of insurance as evidence of such coverage, issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in the State of Illinois and having a best rating acceptable to the City.

The effective period of such insurance coverage shall coincide with the period for which the license is in effect.
One-Day Liquor License
Class D licenses shall authorize the retail sale of alcoholic liquor, only by bona fide social, fraternal or religious organizations, only special occasions and at locations as approved by the local Liquor Control Commissioner, and only for consumption on the premises described in the license. Commercial businesses with liquor licenses should contact the City Clerks office to obtain off-premise license. 

To apply for a One-Day Liquor License, create an account or login to the Citizen Self-Service Portal.

An original Certificate of Insurance must be supplied to the City of Elmhurst as a condition of issuance of this liquor license. The Certificate of Insurance must show limits of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000) for liquor liability coverage unless a reduction of such coverage is authorized by the Liquor Control Commissioner. In the event liquor is to be served but not sold, a Certificate of Insurance showing comprehensive general liability coverage with host liquor liability coverage shall be supplied in lieu of the evidence of insurance for liquor liability coverage. The City of Elmhurst shall be listed as the certificate holder on all Certificates of Insurance. The Certificate of Insurance must cover those dates and times during which the liquor license will be in effect.

$93/per day, limit 3 consecutive days
Purchasing Businesses with Existing Licenses
Liquor Licenses are Non-Transferrable
If you are purchasing an existing business that has a current liquor license, please note the liquor license is non-transferable. New owners must apply for a new liquor license for the establishment in question. If you would like to continue operations at the existing location during the Background Check and approval process you must first gain approval from the Liquor Control Commissioner.

Currently, the Mayor serves as Liquor Control Commissioner for the City and is the final authority in the approval process for a liquor applicant. To gain approval, applicants must submit a letter to the Liquor Control Commissioner asking to operate in good faith, until such time as the approval process is completed. Applicants will be notified in a timely manner as to whether or not their request has been approved.