No New Bars In River North? New Law Could Mean Last Call

No New Bars In River North? New Law Could Mean Last Call

David Matthews and Tanveer Ali | DNAinfo | October 11, 2017

RIVER NORTH — It could be last call for more alcohol in River North.

The City Council voted Wednesday to prohibit new liquor licenses in much of the neighborhood long known for its nightlife.

Citing an “over-concentration” of bars in the area, the new law introduced by 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly seeks to prohibit new watering holes in wide swaths of River North.

The ordinance only applies to new bars that make most of their money off booze, not other businesses such as hotels, restaurants or music venues that also sell drinks. Existing River North bars will not be affected.

Reilly, who didn’t return messages seeking comment, for years has told neighbors he frowns on granting tavern licenses to new bars that he said attract drunken mischief to River North.

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.

A new ordinance would make those restrictions more permanent in River North.

“There is a delicate balance between residential, business, hospitality and tourism objectives in our very dynamic neighborhood,” Mike Riordan, president of the River North Residents Association, said in an email. “We work extremely hard to advocate for quality of life issues and to collaborate with business owners so that we all thrive. ”


The 5 Hottest Bars In Chicago Right Now

The 5 Hottest Bars In Chicago Right Now

1. Annex at GreenRiver

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Meet GreenRiver’s sexier, leather-clad sister lounge. Browse pics of our visit to the intimate bar. 259 E. Erie St. Website

2. Forbidden Root

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A brewery and lab for concocting botanical beers and elixirs: peak beer geekism. Take a look at photos from our night out at the West Town brewpub. 1746 W. Chicago Ave. Website

3. Hopewell Brewing Co.

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See “Hopewell Brewing Co. Puts Lagers in the Spotlight.” Also, check out pics of our outing to the Logan Square brewery. 2760 N. Milwaukee Ave. Website

4. The Sixth

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Where imbibers sip from fishbowls containing ocean scenes and perfumed steam. Browse photos of our visit to the Lincoln Square cocktail bar. 2200 W. Lawrence Ave. Website

5. Whiskey Business

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Your safe haven for wearing neon slap bracelets. Take a look at all the ’80s and ’90s nostalgia. 1367 N. Milwaukee Ave. Website

(H/T Chicago Magazine)