River North may be known for its nightlife, but the City Council voted Wednesday to prohibit new liquor licenses in much of the neighborhood.
The new law, introduced by 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly, cites an “over-concentration” of bars in the area and seeks to prohibit new ones from opening, according to DNAinfo.
The ordinance will apply only to new bars that make most of their profit from alcohol sales and existing bars will not be affected by it. Reilly has always stood strong on this point and has said before that he frowns upon granting tavern licenses to new bars because they attract drunken mischief to River North, according to DNAinfo.
With some restrictions already in place, the new ordinance would crack down even harder on liquor licenses in the area as well as creating more permanent restrictions. The proposal was filed by Reilly last month in light of his feud with the Bottled Blonde, 504 N. Wells St., a local restaurant and club that his constituents have been complaining about since its opening.
“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. ”
After being unanimously approved by City Council, aldermen approved the ordinance as well, allowing it to be set in place.