Clearwater Theater closed by West Dundee
By Julie Mullen For The Courier-News September 13, 2011 4:30PM
William Sunter of "Myself the Sun" sings to a crowd at the Clearwater Theater in West Dundee in this Feb. 26, 2008 photo. The theater was shut down after the village learned it did not have a current state liquor license. | Sun-Times Media File
Updated: November 9, 2011 5:36PM
WEST DUNDEE — The village has closed down a popular live music venue after discovering it had been operating without a state liquor license for over a year.
State officials informed the village last week that Clearwater Theater at 96 W. Main St. failed to renew its state liquor license and has not held one since March 2010.
The state license is a prerequisite for carrying a local liquor license. The non-compliance violates not only the village’s liquor laws, but also its business licensing laws, prompting an immediate suspension of all business at the site, West Dundee Village Manager Joe Cavallaro said.
“We are assuming that they still have liquor in the establishment,” Cavallaro said. “They need to tell us how they want to move forward, and if there is any remaining liquor on the premises.”
After the theater’s owner, Eric Isibue, failed to appear Monday night at a hearing on the issue by the village’s liquor and business licensing commissions, its licenses for both were formally revoked.
Clearwater Theater, which opened in 2003, offered live music of all genres seven nights a week. Its web site, www.clearwatertheater.com, has listed all upcoming shows as cancelled.
Cavallaro said that, until recently, it was difficult for the village to decipher which businesses were keeping up with their state liquor licenses. But that job was made easier earlier this year.
“The Illinois Liquor Commission just created a new website about three to four months ago where you can sort by zip code as to who has a valid state license,” Cavallaro said. “The problem is that, with non-renewals, the state doesn’t notify us.”
Although Isibue hasn’t been in contact with the village regarding the issue, if he should obtain a valid state liquor license or choose to run the business alcohol-free, the commissions will address the possibility of its re-opening, Cavallaro said.