State panel revokes River Station liquor license

Adriana Colindres

The shuttered River Station restaurant, which already lost its city of Peoria liquor license, got its state liquor license revoked Wednesday.

Neither restaurant owner Terry Nichols nor anyone else representing the River Station appeared at a hearing in front of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. As a result, the panel issued what’s called a "default order of revocation."

The business, located at 212 Water St., owes the state more than $163,000 in taxes, an amount that Commissioner Steve Schnorf called an "extraordinarily large outstanding balance."

"We’ve tried to work with these folks," said Mark Varner, supervisor of the commission’s revocation unit.

Nichols filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.

The revocation program collects millions of dollars every year from liquor license holders who owe the state money, Varner said. Most of them pay up after they hear from the state, he said.

The River Station has 20 days to file a petition for rehearing in front of the state liquor commission. If no petition gets filed, the commission’s revocation order will be permanent, said Rick Haymaker, the panel’s chief legal counsel.

A permanent revocation would mean that anyone named on the River Station’s liquor license could never again obtain an Illinois liquor license, Haymaker said.

In addition, the revocation order would apply to the premises of the restaurant for a year, even if a different owner ultimately seeks a state liquor license, he said. But the Liquor Control Commission could decide later to rescind its revocation order for a different liquor license applicant.

The restaurant’s city liquor license was pulled last week because Nichols owes money to the city of Peoria.

Adriana Colindres can be reached at (217) 782-6292 or