Buffalo Grove gas stations were given permission to sell limited alcoholic beverages this week by the Village Board.
Trustees signed off on an amended ordinance that will allow filling stations to sell beer and wine. Displays will be limited to 11 lineal feet of coolers and 25 square feet of floor display space.
The change was sparked by a liquor license request from the Bucky’s Mobil gas station that is under construction at the corner of Route 83 and Arlington Heights Road. The gas station is being rebuilt to include a Bucky’s convenience store and car wash. Bucky’s representatives said the new station will open in April.
Acting on “a gut feeling,” Trustee Steve Trilling asked the board to discuss the proposal rather than include it in among a group of more routine business matters combined in a single vote.
He wondered whether gas stations, which often have a single employee, would be able to juggle carding customers and preventing alcohol theft with handling other convenience store sales and monitoring the pumps.
Police Chief Steven Casstevens said more thefts typically take place at larger retailers where the activity is less likely to be observed.
“I really don’t see this as a significant issue,” Trustee Jeff Berman said. “If we have problems, we could change it, but I don’t see the need to say no.”
Some officials noted that they’ve seen alcohol sold at gas stations in other communities. Buffalo Grove trustees ultimately voted 6-0 to lift the prohibition on alcohol sales at the village’s gas stations.
Gas station owners who want to sell alcohol will have to obtain a Class D liquor license from the village. Buffalo Grove businesses that already have such a license include 7-Eleven, Aldi and Nino’s Pizzeria. The revised ordinance removes the requirement for locked coolers and no longer allows license holders to hold wine-tasting events.
Liquor stores, grocery stores and drug stores fall under a different classification.