Carbondale Liquor Advisory Board approves licenses
The city of Carbondale Liquor Advisory Board met Sept. 1 to approve licenses.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the board:
Liquor Advisory Board
September 1, 2016
The City of Carbondale’s Liquor Advisory Board held a meeting on Thursday, September 1, 2016, in
Room 103 of the Carbondale Civic Center, 200 South Illinois Avenue. Chairman Robinson called the
meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. with the following-named members of the Board present/absent:
1. Roll Call
Present: Steve Payne, Tasis Karayiannis, Donald Monty, David Cisco, and Mark Robinson
Absent: John Mills
A quorum was available to take action on the agenda items. City Staff present for the meeting included
City Clerk Jennifer Sorrell and Fire Inspector Tom Manis.
2. Approval of minutes from August 4, 2016
T. Karayiannis moved, D. Cisco seconded, to approve the minutes of August 4, 2016. VOTE: All voted
aye; motion declared carried.
3. Application for a Class A2 liquor license with a beer garden/outdoor café (Restaurant – all
alcoholic liquors) from Jewel of India Inc. d/b/a Reema’s Indian Cuisine at 709 South Illinois
Reema and Ramneesh Prabhakar were present to respond to Board inquiries. Mr. Prabhakar discussed the
current business operations and noted that they hoped alcohol would be a compliment to the restaurant
There was a brief explanation about catering with alcohol. The beer garden will be on the south side of
the business. Mr. Prabhakar indicated that his employees were already planning on taking BASSET
training. A conflict in the application was noted for question 10 with regard to the closure of the kitchen
at 10:00 p.m., but the beer garden will close at 11:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and at midnight
on Friday and Saturday. The Clerk indicated that the beer garden could remain open after the closure of
the kitchen, but that the legal entry age of 19 would apply, and the applicant would still have to meet the
51% food and nonalcoholic beverage sales requirement. There was then a question regarding ownership
and officers of the corporation. Reema Prabhakar is listed as the president of the corporation on the
application, but the Secretary of State’s website indicates that Ramneesh Prabhakar serves as president.
Mr. Prabhakar indicated that a change in ownership had been filed with the State by his CPA and Reema
owns 100% of the stock. He stated that he would provide the corrected proof of ownership.
D. Cisco moved, T. Karayiannis seconded, to recommend approval of the application for a Class A2
liquor license with a beer garden for Reema’s, subject to clarifying ownership and officers of the
corporation with the State, and contingent upon outstanding items. VOTE: All voted aye; motion declared
4. Application to transfer a Class B2 license (on premises consumption-all alcoholic liquors)
from Shaun Kocel, an individual, d/b/a Shaun’s Place to GLJH Capital Enterprise Inc. d/b/a
Birger’s Pub at 201 East Main Street #1-B
Richard Brizendine was present to respond to Board inquiries. Mr. Brizendine indicated that Shaun Kocel
had taken employment in Colorado and had chosen to sell his interest to GLH Capital. He indicated that
the plan is similar which is to provide fine wines and craft beers – locally sourced, preferred – and gaming
in an intimate environment for local residents and hopefully feed off of the Newell House restaurant.
Clerk’s Note: There were several back-and-forth questions asked of the representative. The following is
not a true verbatim transcript, but generally covers both the questions and answers provided.
Mr. Brizendine responded to the following inquiries: Who/ what is GLH? [Garrett Lee Hamilton, sole
shareholder of GLH Enterprise Inc.]; What is CBD Properties? [The landowner of the Newell building –
not the same person as Garrett Lee Hamilton]; Aside from the $25,000 deposits on hand, what other
money will be put into this place? [The $25,000 was what was paid for the improved space from Mr.
Kocel; Mr. Hamilton has several businesses so there are funds available to stock and to promote the bar];
the spelling of the name like Charlie Birger [that is who it is named after; the theme is for an individual
who was a local celebrity]; A notation that Question 5 was not answered [that is a flaw with the online
application, that it does not print out with the checkmark – it is a corporation]; Question 12 is answered
“no”, but you referenced video gaming? [Gaming (gambling), he did not think that was entertainment;
that was just an interpretation. There is an application pending, whether it will be approved or not, I don’t
know]; Clarification on Question 21- What does $300; 7/14/15; AD & Cont. Liq. [Fine amount, Date, No
suspension, and due to issues with the form, the abbreviated stands for “advertising” – there was
something advertised on the table which was not appropriate and “contaminated liquor” which was bugs
in a bottle]; Attachment 20, which are other licenses, does he have any licenses other than in Illinois?
[No]; Question of curiosity, Mr. Hamilton resides in California; what brings him to of all places here if he
resides out there? [It’s a beautiful place, the people are friendly, the acquisition costs and liquor licenses
in California is probably a factor of 10 compared to out here 10 times that of Illinois]; You indicated that
Mr. Hamilton owns 100% of the stock in the corporation [as shown on the app]; Is that an Illinois
corporation? [Illinois]; Can someone be the president and secretary? [You can be all the officers; you only
need one person]; Is Byron Potts serving as manager for both The Pony and Birger’s? [The City requires a
resident agent, in the event that something comes up; Mr. Potts is the agent for both, not the manager.];
There is one employee? [Because of the size of the establishment, there will only need to be one
employee on staff and that will not be Mr. Potts]; Concern about the sufficiency of employment with only
one person working any given shift if issues arise. [It is a 650’ square foot establishment, from the
location of the bar, there is a line of sight to the game area, to the front door, and if you are familiar with
the gaming, there is very little oversight required and it typically can be done from a central location].
During this section, the representative and Board were viewing the attached drawing of the establishment
Where is the seating area for the establishment? [Seating is located in the public space and barstools, and
few tables, as space allows] Second public space to the left-what is the proposed use? [That is where we
propose to have the gaming]; Noting that the diagram is not three-dimensional or to scale, there appears to
be a wall between the gaming and the public space [Invited Mr. Monty to come tour the business as the
questions and drawing will not do justice to the view that is available from the bartender]; Is it a full wall
or is it a partial? [It is a full wall, but it is not a doorway or entryway]; So no matter where the bartender is
behind that bar, he can see all of the area? [No, there is a small triangle area he could not see, but other
than that, yes]; Fire Inspector Tom Manis noted that it is possible to see into the room from behind the
bar. Mr. Monty asked Mr. Manis that with a unisex bathroom, what is the maximum occupancy for this
establishment? [T. Manis- that question would actually be for the building inspector, but by going through
State Plumbing Code, it is 10 people]; The maximum number of video gaming machines you can have?
[Clerk – five]; Referencing the diagram, so if there are five people at the gaming machines, there can only
be four people at these tables [ All? There are no table here; I invite you to come over – I agree that the
maximum occupancy is 10]; The percentage of the business that will come from the sale of alcohol
(reading application) estimated percentage of liquor sales – 65%, estimated food sales – 5%, and sales
other that liquor or food is 30% - so is the 30% gaming? [correct]; given the very limited amount of
seating there for the primary purpose of alcohol, is it realistic to think that 65% will be from alcohol?
[Yes]; Question 9- with four or five people, how can you establish an intimate environment? [Mr.
Brizendine explained the layout and noted that it is intimate by its physical restrictions].
Mr. Brizendine noted that this same application was before them once before and it was approve and there
is not one difference in this application for the bar.
Concern was expressed that the establishment looks more like a video gaming establishment than a bar.
As Code was amended in recent years, is it possible to have a video gaming establishment in this zoning?
[This would not qualify]; There was reluctance to recommend that Council approve it, but that is up to
them. For purposes of denial, the only thing that comes close to it, is “character and nature of the
proposed establishment”, but doesn’t quite meet the bar. Mr. Brizendine noted that the City has
established a new method of reporting and that it is up to the owner to lawfully and honestly report their
income, so aside from fears and reservations, the application is for a B2 license.
D. Monty moved to recommend approval of the transfer application from Birger’s Pub for a Class B3
liquor license, contingent upon outstanding items. Motion died for lack of a second.
Mr. Brizendine thanked the Board for the opportunity to answer all of the questions and for the
opportunity that they provided The Pony to again attack the City because it had already been approved
and there were no changes in the application from Shaun’s application. He noted that the Board linked the
two together by asking about Byron Potts, his own representation of the entities, and that it is very clear
what the intent was. Mr. Monty responded to the intent and the difference he noted since Mr. Kocel’s
application. He and Mr. Brizendine commented further.
5. Request for a consecutive 180-day permit for a Class B3 Liquor License (Video gaming
establishment- on premises consumption of all alcoholic liquors) from Uffelman Corporation d/b/a
Reel Lucky at 1224 West Main Street
Scott Uffelman was present to respond to Board inquiries. Mr. Uffelman noted that the State required that
he add an additional bathroom which caused significant delay. He completed the remodeling the day after
his permit expired. He was asked about the ownership of the corporation and Mr. Uffelman indicated that
he was the sole holder. The Background Operation Questionnaire was not included for the request to
receive an additional 180-day permit, but the answers remain the same.
D. Monty moved, D. Cisco seconded, to recommend the reissuance of a 180-day permit for a Class B3
liquor license for Reel Lucky. VOTE: All voted aye; motion declared carried.
6. Citizens’ Comments
Members from an SIU politics class were present, as was Councilman Kang. Emily Cantaessi noted her
interest in the meeting. No additional comments. Next meeting scheduled for October 6, 2016.
Meeting adjourned at 6:23 p.m.
Jennifer R. Sorrell, City Clerk Date Approved