By Bob Balgemann
Liquor license requests that staff said would set prece-dents have received varied recommendations from the Machesney Park Liquor Commission.
Commissioners at their Jan. 17 meeting recommended denial of the request for a Class A license at 10114 N. Second St, in a convenience store that has a gas station.
The business currently has a Class B license, which allows retail carryout. The Class A license would allow on-premises consumption as well as retail carryout.
Should the request receive approval from the village board, the petitioner intends to apply for a state gaming license and a Class G license from the village. That would permit video gaming machines to be lo-cated inside the convenience store.
Staff said approval of the Class A request would set a precedent in the village by allowing on-premises con-sumption of alcohol and gaming in a convenience store.
The 4,000-square-foot con-venience store was built in 1980. It is situated along the frontage road at the northwest corner of North Second Street and Illinois 173 (West Lane Road). The property is zoned commercial community.
There is a variety of zoning and land uses on adjacent property.
To the north the zoning is agriculture and the property currently is vacant. The zoning on the south and east is commercial com-munity with the uses being right of way and a restaurant/bar, respectively. To the west the zoning is commercial general, with the land being occupied by a financial institution.
Machesney Park’s 2010 comprehensive plan calls for corridor commercial uses at 10114 N. Second St.. The proposed use is in compliance with that plan.
Village Planning and Zoning Coordinator Carrie Houston explained the state recently allowed video gaming inside convenience stores, as long as the actual consumption of alcohol takes place in a separate gaming room in the building.
Fas Mart, name of the busi-ness at the North Second Street location, is proposing to convert its Beer Cave at the west end of the conveni-ence store into a 16-by-10-foot room to house five video gaming terminals.
That room would be in full view of gas station em-ployees behind the counter; patrons would have to be buzzed in through a door to gain access to the gaming room.
Previously, she said gaming only was permitted in con-venience stores with B li-censes that met the definition of a “licensed truck stop establishment.” None of the current convenience stores meet that definition.
In addition, while consump-tion only would take place in the separate gaming room, alcohol would be poured into cups at the convenience store counter and then carried by employees into the gaming room.
“The types of patrons who choose to go to a conveni-ence store, rather than a bar, to do gaming, likely are not

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