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Lakefront Liquor Licenses May Double

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Apr 17, 2010 5:45PM

As an alternative to placing higher taxes to increase revenue for the Chicago Park District, Mayor Daley has successfully roused interest in a plan to issue more liquor licenses to lakefront businesses. At present, there are around a dozen establishments within the park district that can already sell beer, but with the new plan these establishments could also sell wine and other liquor.

In addition, Daley's new proposal would allow the current number of liquor vendors to grow a little over twofold. Places that Daley proposed as possible locations for new liquor licenses include the North Rose Garden at Buckingham Fountain, 63rd Street Beach House in Jackson Park, Montrose Beach House, and almost a dozen other locales.

Also, doubling the number of liquor licenses issued along the lake path doesn't mean that there will be random beer gardens and reckless keg parties strewn across the beaches and parks - the city is focused on issuing licenses for permanent establishments and, with the exception of some venues, most liquor sales would end at 10 p.m. While promoting this plan, Daley says that businesses which are granted liquor licenses will be subject to strict regulations regarding the sale and distribution of liquor to patrons, so that any possible danger can be avoided. Some parks advocacy groups and aldermen have been supporting Mayor Daley's plan with hopes to encourage more people to explore the lakefront businesses and get more people interested in dining out and spending time with friends and family around Lake Michigan. Daley's proposal is now up for approval by City Council's License Committee.