CITY HALL — A West Side alderman has proposed the first limitations on bring-your-own-bottle policies at city businesses — but diners can rest easy, as the ordinance would specifically exempt restaurants.
Ald. Deborah Graham (29th) submitted the ordinance at Wednesday's City Council meeting, and 15 aldermen immediately signed on.
It would allow aldermen to set aside areas where BYOB would be prohibited in businesses, but specifically exempts restaurants, saying, "No ordinance adopted under this chapter shall prohibit BYOB in any restaurant."
For Graham, it would answer a problem she first raised in October over BYOB in dry precincts. At the time, she expressed shock that there were no limitations on the books in city law on BYOB, aside from it being illegal for a business to give away liquor to draw customers. She raised issues over businesses such as hair salons or nail shops allowing BYOB and proposed letting aldermen bar BYOB in dry precincts.
Others objected, however, with Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) saying BYOB had worked for restaurants in his neighborhoods of Logan Square, West Town and Lakeview and worrying about a new city ordinance creating problems where there weren't any in the first place.
Graham's initial proposal went nowhere, but she announced her intention to seek citywide clarification on the issue. Her new ordinance submitted Wednesday would establish a process in which aldermen could designate areas where BYOB would be prohibited in businesses other than restaurants after specifying a "description of the conditions requiring the prohibition on BYOB."
The new proposal satisfied Waguespack, who was one of those signing on to the proposal.
It would set a fine of $500-$1,000 for violations. The measure was sent to the License Committee.
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