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Local News

St. Charles aldermen vote, 7-3, for drive-thru alcohol sales

ST. CHARLES – St. Charles businesses for the first time can offer drive-thru alcohol sales, thanks to a St. Charles City Council decision on Monday.

The St. Charles City Council voted, 7-3, during its regular meeting in favor of an ordinance permitting the drive-thru sales. Aldermen Rita Payleitner of Ward 2, Jo Krieger of Ward 4 and Maureen Lewis of Ward 5 voted against the motion.

The vote allows the roughly 21 A-1 liquor license holders for packaged liquor in St. Charles to sell alcohol through a drive-thru at their businesses.

Lundeen’s Discount Liquor operators David and Julie Lundeen first approached the city in 2013 to permit drive-thru sales at a to-be-built drive-thru window at their express location, 1315 W. Main St., St. Charles.

“We are grateful that the council was forward thinking enough to trust us that this business model does work,” Julie Lundeen said Friday. “The due diligence on our end to hold a liquor license is the same whether (patrons are) walking in or going through the drive-thru.”

Lundeen’s Sycamore location has had a drive-thru since 2005, Julie Lundeen said.

Payleitner on Monday said the ordinance for the drive-thru sales “lacked teeth” and moved to table it. Krieger and Lewis voted with Payleitner in favor of tabling the ordinance, but they were denied by the other seven aldermen who later voted in favor of the ordinance at the meeting.

St. Charles resident Brian LaVolpe at Monday’s meeting questioned how Lundeen’s store employees would be able to check the ages of everyone in a vehicle at a drive-thru for alcohol.

“The people in my neighborhood are not happy about it,” LaVolpe said.

Rogina said that he was impressed with the Lundeens’ presentation and that there are more safeguards built into having a drive-thru with alcohol sales versus a regular store.

“I do believe ordinances like this to sell products that are legal are important for those elderly and disabled,” Rogina said.

Even with the ordinance in place, any business seeking to open a drive-thru would have to request a special use through the city, Rogina said.

Julie Lundeen said she will be prepared to request a special use for a drive-thru at the St. Charles express location by spring 2016.

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