Should Sunday liquor sales start at 7 a.m. in Naperville?
Liquor sales could start earlier on Sundays in Naperville -- at 7 a.m. -- if the city council goes along with a proposed change that got unanimous support from the liquor commission.
The potential change to earlier sales is designed to simplify existing regulations that take an entire spreadsheet to explain, Mayor Steve Chirico said.
Some types of liquor licenses permit sales beginning at 8 a.m. on Sundays, while other types don't allow alcohol to be sold until 9 a.m., 10 a.m. or noon.
Chirico said the later Sunday liquor sales restrictions likely were created historically to allow for Sunday morning church services. But he and members of the liquor commission agreed the delay is no longer needed for spiritual purposes.
"Things have changed and we just feel that the hours of operation should be consistent all week long," Chirico said.
The changes the council could make also would eliminate the requirement for some types of liquor license holders that a full meal be served to each customer who orders an alcoholic drink. That means customers at restaurants and bars could come in on a Sunday morning and order only a beer or a Bloody Mary, as long as food service was available at the time. The relaxed food requirement would apply to businesses with licenses for restaurants, taverns or specialty markets as well as the license for the Naper Settlement and Naperville Heritage Society.
Chirico said he doesn't envision lots of patrons visiting bars on Sunday mornings for drinks alone, without brunch or some sort of food.
Instead, he said the food service change was proposed to allow players at Naperville's golf courses to have an alcoholic drink after finishing a Sunday morning round. Golf courses offer food such as hot dogs but don't have the capacity to serve what's considered a "full meal" in the liquor code.
The push to move Sunday liquor sales to 7 a.m. comes five years after Naperville changed its regulations to allow packaged liquor sales beginning at 8 a.m. on Sundays instead of noon. Since the change in 2010, police have reported no complaints and no increase in crime related to the earlier Sunday availability of alcohol, according to a report from the city's legal department.
The city council will consider the 7 a.m. Sunday liquor sales during a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal center at 400 S. Eagle St.