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posted: 5/13/2014 5:30 AM

Shorter bar hours recommended in Libertyville

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Spirited discussion could be on tap today as the Libertyville village board considers a number of changes regarding liquor licensing.

The changes involve two new liquor license classifications, an increase in the number of wine and liquor tasting events and a reduction in the hours of operation.

The last proposal, which was recommended in April by the village board's license and permits committee, involves a one-hour reduction in hours that would move closing time to 1 a.m. on weekdays and to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday for establishments with Class A liquor licenses.

Police said a survey of nearby communities showed Libertyville and Mundelein allow liquor to be served an hour later than other towns, and that a "significant number" of patrons travel to Libertyville for last call.

Police Chief Clint Herdegen said the issue of bar hours surfaced after repeated discussions with overnight police supervisors who said the village was having to deal with problems after 2 a.m. associated with people who had been drinking in other communities.

About 26 percent of calls for service relating to liquor establishments on Fridays and Saturdays come between 2 and 5 a.m., he added. The calls involve a variety of circumstances or actions, from public intoxication, to urinating in public, creating a disturbance, and fighting, he said.

Herdegen brought the topic to the license and permit committee with the recommendation that bar closing hours be modified. There currently are 15 Class A licenses, but only three to five of them stay open until 3 a.m. on weekend nights, he said.

The village board last month accepted the recommendation but will take an official vote at its regular meeting beginning at 8 p.m. at the village hall, 118 W. Cook Ave. Trustee Jim Moran dissented, saying he was worried about the potential economic impact.

License holders with concerns were invited to provide detailed information on the potential cost impact of such a change.

The other changes call for a new license category to allow the sale of beer, wine or spirits in the original package with a limited amount of tasting and consumption on premises; BYOB classifications for restaurants, as well as theaters and other entertainment venues; and, increase in the number of wine and liquor tasting events from 72 to 150 per year. A request from more tastings cam from Jewel-Osco to better compete with Mariano's Fresh Market, according to village documents.

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