Tap Room (Photo by Igor Studenkov)

The public hearing on the renewal of Forest Park Tap Room bar’s liquor license has been rescheduled to July 22 at 10 a.m. after, according to Mayor Rory Hoskins, one of the defendants tested positive for COVID-19. 

The hearing was previously rescheduled from June 23 to July 8 after one of the witnesses had a scheduling conflict. It’s the sixth hearing date that has been scheduled since Forest Park Police Chief Kenneth Gross in April filed a complaint asking Hoskins, who also serves as the village’s liquor commissioner, not to renew Tap Room’s liquor license. 

The latest delay was announced on July 7, one day after the city of Berwyn held its own liquor license hearing for Berwyn Tap Room, which shares ownership with the Forest Park Tap Room, over the bar having patrons drink after closing. 

Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero, who acts as his city’s liquor commissioner, placed the bar under a 60-day probation that included reduced hours, and the owners had to a pay $1,000 fine. 

The Forest Park Tap Room, 7321 Madison St., is co-owned by brothers Lance and Hansel Law, who have also owned Berwyn Tap Room, 6330 16th St., since 2019 with real estate investor William Rivera.

The Forest Park bar has had its liquor license suspended three times since it opened due to Tap Room’s alleged failure to control crowds and prevent fights, as well as violating COVID-19 related capacity restrictions. 

In August 2021, Hoskins revoked the Tap Room’s liquor license after ruling the bar stayed open after hours. But in January, the Illinois State Liquor Control Commission reversed the village’s ruling, stating there was no evidence the bar was selling liquor after hours.

Gross’ request to deny Tap Room a license renewal cited the bar’s history of complaints, and he also alleged the brothers lied to the village on their original liquor license application. They Laws reportedly stated on the application that they never had any issues at Berwyn Tap Room, but Gross’ complaint cited a Forest Park Review investigation which uncovered numerous police calls and a liquor license suspension in Berwyn to prove otherwise.

The Forest Park Tap Room’s license was scheduled to expire on April 30, and Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz told the Review that their liquor license is essentially in limbo pending the outcome of the hearing. 

If Hoskins rules against the Tap Room, the license will lapse, but if he rules in their favor, the license will become active – though the owners would have to pay the late fees and the license fee.