Foundry FP, an event space at 7503 Madison St. is still trying to get a state liquor license almost a year after it opened.
The exact status of the license isn’t clear. According to Illinois Liquor Control Commission spokesperson Nicole Sanders, the state license application was rejected, but owner Linda Cibula could re-apply if she wanted. But while Cibula acknowledged that her application faced a few hurdles, she insisted that her application was not rejected, and she said she was still in the process of applying for it.
Foundry FP currently has a village liquor license. According to village attorney Sharon O’Shea, event spaces that have a valid village liquor license and are in the process of applying for a state liquor license can serve, but not sell, liquor. Cibula told the Review that she has never sold liquor, and that, even when she gets the state license, she only intends to sell it on special occasions, such as St. Patrick’s Day.
According to copies of the rejection letters provided to the Review, ILCC rejected the applications on April 18 and on Oct. 19. In both cases, the rejections were on procedural grounds. The April 18 letter cited failure to answer questions on some pages, failure to document whether Foundry FP bought any property from Urban Pioneer Group, which previously operated the event space in the building, and inconsistencies between the business information on file with the Illinois Department of Revenue and the information in the application. The IDR listed Cibula’s niece, Emmeli Blackall, as the sole owner, while the application listed both, and the business name was slightly different – “FOUNDRYFP LLC’ versus “Foundry FP” and “Foundry/FP Company.”
The Oct. 19 letter rejected the application because of the different name on the lease paperwork than the “Foundry/FP Company” name.
In both cases, ILCC letters specify that Foundry FP can reapply once the issues identified in the rejections have been corrected.
When asked about the license status, Sanders told the Review that the application was rejected. She did not respond to the questions on the exact timing of the rejection, so it’s not clear whether that refers to the Oct. 19 rejection, or if it was rejected again at some later point. Sanders confirmed that Cibula can resubmit the application.
When asked about the status of the application, Cibula told the Review that “I was not denied,” though she said that “we thought we were finished, but we missed one thing,” mentioning that tax information is an issue.
“We had to finish up some things,” she said. “No big deal.”
Cibula also emphasized that, while Foundry FP had served drinks – most recently, at the Dec. 2 holiday walk – they were given away for free. She also insisted that the state commission told her it was OK to do that. She also said that there have been instances when customers renting the event space brought their own liquor.
On Oct. 28, Foundry FP was cited for allowing customers to carry drinks outside and failing to control rowdy crowds. The event space reached a settlement with the village, with Cibula agreeing to improve security and charge customers a $1,500 fee that would be forfeited if police were called.