Bar owners OK alcohol ban

Wrigleyville bar owners OK partial alcohol ban on clinch days
September 29, 2008 4:48:22 PM PDT
Bar owners in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood have agreed to a plan to ban alcohol sales during the end of any game when the Cubs can clinch the playoffs. The city says the ban is in the best interest of public safety. On Monday, bar owners agreed to play ball.

On a soggy Monday morning in Wrigleyville, you'd think enthusiasm for the Cubs would lift spirits. But some leaving a meeting at a local bar say the city is raining on their parade. They say the city is requesting that bars near Wrigley Field stop alcohol sales from the 7th to 9th innings during a Cubs clinch game.

"It's a chamber of commerce. It's very difficult when someone puts a restriction on your revenue," said Maureen Martino, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.

"Of course we're disappointed about it, but in the interest of public safety, what can you do? Nobody wants any hassle or any problems," said Billy Lawless, Irish Oak owner.

"I don't think it's necessary. I'm hoping it won't be used at all, that they'll clinch in Los Angeles. I think in the end, it's up to the patrons and bar owners to do what's right," said Commissioner Mike Quigley, Cook County Board.

The city's Office of Emergency Management Communications says the boundary discussed includes bars located between Newport to Irving Park and Wilton to Racine.

"We have concerns about general safety just like any time with a Chicago team going into playoffs," said Ray Orozco, OEMC.

"For the sake of the welfare of the community, I'm all for it," said George Lucas, Cubby Bear owner.

"The merchants are in favor of doing whatever the city wants them to make a safe and happy celebration for everyone in Lakeview," said Larissa Tyler, Central Lakeview Merchants Association.

At the Irish Oak, the pub's management says they already take a serious approach to not over serve anyone no matter what the occasion. They're concerned about problems this request might create.

"People may get agitated during the nonserving phase because they feel they're being told they can't do something," said Sarah Clark, Irish Oak manager.

"I feel sorry for the staff that they're told you can't serve after the seventh inning when they work for tips. It's also a wage issue for them," said Clodagh Lawless, Irish Oak owner.

At least one patron says he's got a plan to survive the dry spell.

"I'll order two, three beers before the seventh inning and nurse them," said Dan O'Leary.


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