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No More Liquor Licenses For River North?

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 12, 2017 4:15PM

The interior of Rockit Bar. Photo via Facebook.

On Wednesday, the City Council passed an ordinance that bans the issuance of new liquor licenses in much of the 42nd Ward. For the uninitiated, that means River North, one of the most popular bar neighborhoods in the city. What gives?

The ordinance itself (which can be found on the city website) cites an "over-concentration of businesses licensed to sell alcoholic liquor within and near the area" as the reason for action. In other words, too many bars and liquor stores in River North. It then lays out a huge list of particular zones where new liquor licenses are not allowed.

The ordinance was introduced on Sept. 6, passed out of committee, and then passed the full council yesterday. There were no nay votes.

DNAinfo spoke to a city spokeswoman:

Lilia Chacon, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said there already are moratoriums in the ward with regard to bars, liquor stores and late-night clubs. Any liquor licenses recently granted in the ward have gone to restaurants and other businesses with incidental drink sales, she said.

Luckily, the massive Chicago restaurant boom has already moved over to the West Loop.