A restaurant and sports bar, 12th Street Wings on Roosevelt Road, voluntarily gave up its liquor license on Feb. 10 at a village hearing.
Mayor Anthony Calderone, who also serves as liquor commissioner, scheduled the hearing based on a request by the Forest Park Police Department. Soon after the hearing began, attorneys representing 12th Street Wings and the Forest Park Police Department made statements saying Varum Goyal, 12th Street Wing’s owner, would give up the license without a formal hearing, which ended the proceedings. Testimony did not occur.
Forest Park Police Chief Tom Aftanas said his department requested the hearing after an incident on Feb. 4 involving a gun but mentioned his officers have repeatedly been called to 12th Street Wings in the last year for various reasons, including fights. Residents nearby have also complained of late-night noise, garbage and vomit on the parkways and public urination, Aftanas said.
“It was taxing our resources at the police department,” he said. “Lately, it was getting more and more violent. It was really starting to concern me.”
Aftanas also referenced an incident several weeks ago in which a patron sprayed Mace, a common self-defense aerosol spray, inside the bar, causing dozens of customers to spill out onto Roosevelt Road.
“It’s not one specific incident. We basically have to have someone there all the time,” Aftanas said. “This pretty much goes on consistently every Friday and Saturday night.”
Aftanas was careful to note the department requested a hearing only. They did not ask that the bar lose its liquor license.
Calderone said the license was a 1A classification, which is given to bars for on-site consumption, and mentioned that the village council will most likely amend village code to reduce the number of licenses from 21 to 20.
“We never have licenses unassigned to anyone,” Calderone said. “It’s not going to be open to someone else.”
Calderone also said surrendering the license without a full hearing was completely legitimate.
“They have that right. I accept that,” Calderone said. “I can’t force someone to have a liquor license.”
Goyal and an Oak Park businessman opened 12th Street Wings in November 2013. Goyal’s family, as reported by the Review at the time, owned a Dunkin Donuts at 7200 Circle Avenue for many years.
“Unfortunately we had a hearing and I surrendered my liquor license,” Goyal said when reached by phone, Feb. 13. “They had the evidence stacked against me.”
Goyal would not elaborate and refused to comment on the record. He did not return repeated calls for additional comment.