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Late-Night Pub Brewbakers in Beverly Draws Ire of Alderman, Community Group

By Howard Ludwig | November 20, 2015 5:34am | Updated on November 20, 2015 6:47am
 Brewbakers at 10350 S. Western Ave. in Beverly is the only late-night pub in the 19th Ward. The tavern is seeking a zoning variance, which Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) and the Beverly Area Planning Association oppose.
Brewbakers at 10350 S. Western Ave. in Beverly is the only late-night pub in the 19th Ward. The tavern is seeking a zoning variance, which Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) and the Beverly Area Planning Association oppose.
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DNAinfo/Howard A. Ludwig

BEVERLY — A late-night jaunt to the bars on Western Avenue has a good chance of ending at Brewbakers Tavern in Beverly.

The bar commonly known as "The Bake" at 10350 S. Western Ave. is the only late-night tavern in the 19th Ward. Brewbakers is open until 4 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays and until 5 a.m. Sundays.

And while Ald. Matt O'Shea (19th) said he can appreciate the need for a vibrant nightlife, he's not happy with Brewbakers and plans to make his feelings known at a zoning hearing set for 9 a.m. on Friday in City Hall.

"My mom used to tell me, 'Matthew, nothing good happens after midnight," O'Shea said on Tuesday.

O'Shea and Margot Burke Holland, executive director of the Beverly Area Planning Association plan to testify against the late-night bar as it seeks a variance that would allow it to acquire a new kind of entertainment license.

Brewbakers for years had been charging a cover before police halted the practice citing a lack of proper licensing. Now Brewbakers is applying for a new kind of license called a Public Place of Amusement License that would allow it to charge a cover — and more.

Because Brewbakers is within 250 feet of residential property it would need a zoning variance before pursuing the new license, which, If granted, would let the tavern reinstate a cover charge, O'Shea said.

It would also allow Brewbakers to host live entertainment, including concerts, sporting events and other shows. The amusement license is also transferable. So even if the current owner uses the new license strictly to charge a cover, a new owner could potentially come in and do far more.

O'Shea and Holland sent an email to 19th Ward residents explaining their opposition to the bar's request on Wednesday evening.

"We will do everything possible to oppose a [Public Place of Amusement] license at this location," the co-authored email states.

Peter Bradarich owns Brewbakers and said on Thursday that he was "flabbergasted" upon receiving the email.

Bradarich said he has no intention of doing anything other reinstating the cover charge with the new license. He also said he was forced to apply for the expanded license by city officials who denied him the opportunity to re-apply for the Music and Dance License that he's held for the past 34 years.

Brewbakers had come to depend on the $5 cover charge to help pay for added late-night security officers. It costs $320 per night for off-duty police who help keep patrons in line and prevent problems from spilling over into the surrounding neighborhood, Bradarich said.

"I only started a cover charge as a way to keep people I didn't want in here from coming in the first place," he said, adding that aside from some initial emails he's struggled to communicate with O'Shea's office about the license.

Bradarich will also be at the zoning hearing on Friday and said he has a petition with 197 signatures supporting his effort. Still, he expects to be denied and promised to pursue the license through the appeals process if so.

O'Shea and Holland also plan to testify at the hearing. And while none of it will impact on the hours of the bar, the clash over the new license has undoubtedly drawn attention to the neighborhood's only late-night tavern.

"I don't think we should have concerts at 103rd and Western until four in the morning," said O'Shea, who added that police are often called to Brewbakers and neighbors frequently complain of rowdiness at the bar.

In their email, O'Shea and Holland requested written replies from residents detailing their thoughts and concerns on the matter. They further asked residents to join them by providing in-person testimony on Friday.

"Permitting live entertainment at Brewbakers will do nothing to enhance the quality of life for residents of this community and could further disturb residential life on nearby blocks," the joint email states.

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