No happy hours for Naperville bars

Happy hour drink specials won't be a part of the Naperville bar scene anytime soon.

The liquor commission this week voted unanimously to keep in place a local ban on happy hour specials that makes the city's rules stricter than the state's.

The state in 2015 repealed a law prohibiting happy hour drink deals that had been in place since 1989. So bars in Illinois, unless their municipality says differently, can offer drink specials for up to four hours a day or 15 hours a week.

Liquor commissioners said Naperville bars and restaurants aren't clamoring to discount drinks for a few hours a day, and allowing the specials could encourage overconsumption during a short period of time. So continuing to forbid happy hours seemed like a "no brainer," Commissioner Marc Blackman said.

"It doesn't seem like our businesses have been at a disadvantage," he said. "I really don't see the reason why we would have to start advocating happy hours."

Since the state allowed happy hours in 2015, City Prosecutor Kavita Athanikar said the liquor commission has received one request to OK them in Naperville, too. That request came recently from Old Town Pour House on the city's north side, but Athanikar said the restaurant later tabled the issue.

Allowing limited-time drink discounts would be "counterintuitive" to previous steps the city has taken to rein in rowdiness and intoxication in the downtown night scene, liquor Commissioner Scott Wehrli said.

"We can have happy days here," he said, "rather than happy hours."

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.