City Council approves River North Tavern License Moratorium
Loop North News

RIVER NORTH

Photo by Brooke Collins.

18-Oct-17 – Dozens of two-block zones throughout River North – in which no new tavern licenses will be issued – will be created by a series of ordinances approved by the Chicago City Council.

The moratorium applies to licenses for bars and nightclubs only and not “incidental” licenses required to open new restaurants. A moratorium can be lifted as needed for at least one year in any specific zone.

42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly said last Friday he sponsored the ordinances after discussions with Chicago Police Department and neighborhood leaders about “a significant increase in quality-of-life complaints related to a number of liquor establishments operating as taverns or nightclubs in River North.”

While most liquor license applicants review their proposals with him and the 18th District police commander, Reilly says “there is a growing trend of applicants circumventing the police commander and alderman and simply filing applications with the city.”

The moratorium, he says, will discourage this.

Photo by Gabor Mozsi (Left) Alderman Reilly (second from left) at an event in Streeterville on September 25. Photo by Gabor Mozsi.

Reilly says he is a “strong supporter” of the hospitality industry in downtown Chicago but the moratorium will be “a helpful and necessary safeguard for residents in River North.”

The ordinance was introduced on September 6 and passed by the City Council on October 11.

In 2013, an ordinance introduced by Reilly and passed by the City Council created about a 14-block zone in River North in which no tavern licenses were issued for at least a year. That tavern moratorium zone contained, according to Reilly, at least 140 liquor licenses, including 18 for bars, lounges, nightclubs, pubs, and taverns that sold and served alcoholic beverages as their primary business.

“When you have a high concentration of liquor in a very confined space, that can create all sorts of quality-of-life concerns and frankly pose an undue burden for local police,” said Reilly at an August 28, 2013, meeting of the City Council’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection.

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 18-Oct-17 5:18 AM

Loop North News

FREE WEEKLY EMAIL UPDATE

What’s news in the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago.

Signup for our weekly email. No ads and no charge. Just enter your email address here...

Number of subscribers:
See this week’s update

More stories


Sunday
For the 19th consecutive summer, Eastland Disaster Historical Society will host the anniversary commemoration for Chicago’s greatest loss-of-life tragedy. Guests will include a representative from Chicago Maritime Museum and Patricia Sutton, author of Capsized! The Forgotten Story of the SS Eastland Disaster. 1:00 p.m. on the Chicago Riverwalk on the west side of the Clark Street Bridge. Cost: Free. Map. More info.

July 25
City Winery announces a special boat cruise and food/drink collaboration with The Duck Inn in Bridgeport. Event starts with drinks at City Winery on the Riverwalk between State and Dearborn. Guests will depart on an electric boat catered with cheese, charcuterie, and Piper Champagne. After arriving in Bridgeport, guests will be served a welcome cocktail from The Duck Inn, followed by a multi-course menu consisting of family-style summer dishes and drink pairings from City Winery Reserve wines. Tickets: $257 per person, includes food/drink pairings, boat transportation along the river, and gratuity. 5:30 p.m., City Winery, 11 West Riverwalk South. Map. More info.
More events

Biggest Gainers & Losers

BOEING CO.
356.75 3.48

NORTHERN TRUST CORP.
108.07 2.62

MB FINANCIAL INC.
46.36 2.33

TRIBUNE MEDIA CO.
32.04 2.06

Downtown Chicago Stocks