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Rock Island putting a pause on new liquor license applications

The city will take the next six months to re-evaluate their process for granting liquor licenses.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Within the last two years, Rock Island Mayor and Liquor Commissioner Mike Thoms says he has seen an interest in selling alcohol grow. 

"We've seen a bit more of applications coming in these days," Mayor Thoms said. "We love to see businesses take an opportunity like this, but we need to make sure we are ready for this kind of influx."

While it's a common practice for all businesses owners to follow when they want to sell alcohol, in Rock Island it's required to receive approval from neighboring businesses, alongside the city. 

"We're looking for homeowners or businesses that are surrounding the area that could be wanting to sell the alcohol to go out and talk to those individuals, talk to your neighbors," Mayor Thoms said. "We want neighbors to be okay with this happening." 

With the process needing to be communicated with neighboring building owners, it can cause the process to take longer than usual. Thoms says some of the building owners are from outside the state, resulting in difficulties communicating. 

"When this is the case, the individual will have to get a hold of the person that owns the building," Thoms said. "We want to make sure the signatures are ensured to be able to move on with the process."

The city is putting a pause on all new applications and taking the next six months to re-evaluate their process. The goal is to make the process simpler for both the people applying and city council.   

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