Chicago bars, restaurants could be reimbursed for unused liquor license days in new proposed ordinance

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Alderman Brian Sigcho-Lopez has introduced an ordinance to help Chicago bars, largely shuttered in the last year, recoup some of the cost of their liquor licenses.

The 25th Ward alderman's ordinance proposes using federal stimulus funds to reimburse liquor license holders for the days they did not use their liquor licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chicago's bars and restaurants have endured some of the longest and strictest closures, with the majority of business being limited to outdoor seating. Bars that did not sell food have largely not been permitted to operate in the last year, and only recently have restrictions on indoor dining and bar capacity been loosened.

The proposed ordinance would allocate $40 million from federal stimulus money for reimbursements. There are several classes of Chicago liquor licenses, which range in cost from $4,400 to $6,600 plus fees for a two year period. A secondary outdoor patio liquor license costs $1,760 plus fees.
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