WRIGLEYVILLE — Three Wrigleyville bars were ticketed for violating their occupancy limits Friday as the neighborhood was filled to the brim for Game 3 of the Wold Series.
Rockwood Place, Redmond's Ale House and Murphy's Bleachers were ticketed for violating their occupancy limits Friday, according to the Chicago Fire Department. Officials also shut down an illegal bar in the basement of 3459 N. Clark St. and a construction site at Patterson and Clark, a spokesman said.
Bars in Wrigleyville experimented with both sky-high cover charges and staying fee-free for the "unprecedented" situation, as one bar called it. While no shortage of fans turned out Saturday, some were disappointed with the changes in how much bars charged.
And with police and fire officials keeping close tabs on occupancy, some bars were forced to rethink their original plans after receiving citations for being over occupancy.
Customers at Murphy's Bleachers were crestfallen Friday, when the bars block-long lines were cut by police and fire officials around 8 p.m.
To keep within their occupancy numbers, Murphy's Bleachers started charging a cover of $100. The family-owned neighborhood bar attributed the change to "the city's rule" on Twitter:
Due to unforeseen restrictions we can no longer offer no cover. We are no longer allowed to have a line to get in, it'll be a $100 cover.— Murphy's Bleachers (@murphysbleacher) October 29, 2016
It is the city's rule and we apologize.— Murphy's Bleachers (@murphysbleacher) October 29, 2016
But some were unsatisfied with the explanation.
Hoping to join his wife and family inside, Matthew Richards said he was refused entry after waiting in line for four hours Friday.
"Amazing that the cops are worried about our good time while the South Side burns," he wrote on Murphy's Facebook page. "Totally disappointed."
Others defended the bar's choice as a best-case solution.
"They were one of the few bars in Wrigley that didn't immediately try to capitalize on the mass amount of people coming to Wrigley ... so back off," wrote Tony Bohr. "$100 cover equals less people equals no issues with the fire department."
The Chicago Fire Department does not control prices for entry, a spokesman said Saturday.
Redmond's Ale House, 3358 N. Sheffield Ave., began charging $50 covers, but was shut down after another occupancy check around 5:20 p.m. Saturday.
@breakingchinews Redmond's Ale House in Sheffield got raided and shutdown just now. $50 cover and no refunds!— Mike Palmer (@dwilawyertexas) October 29, 2016
The bar remained closed at the start of game Saturday, with a sign on the door saying it would not reopen until Sunday morning.
The neighborhood has been flooded with Cubs fans during the World Series, with fans arriving 15 hours before Friday's game and standing in line for four hours or longer.
Redmond's Ale House was shut down Saturday after it was cited Friday for being over its occupancy. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
Some bars initially sold food and drink packages for anywhere from $50 to $300, while several charged $500 and $1,000 fees for table reservations. At Moe's Cantina, tables that cost $3,000 remained empty Friday night.
Many of those prices dropped Saturday. Moe's Cantina charged $20 entry Friday, while Old Crow and John Barleycorn cut covers to $50 apiece Saturday, down from $250.
At Moe's Cantina, several tables that cost $3,000 to reserve stayed empty Friday. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
Trace Bar opted to not charge a cover but instead suggest customers make a $5 donation to Lakeview Pantry. Still others held steady, with $100 covers at BEER and Rockwood Place.
"It's $100, but I'm completely sold out," the doorman at Rockwood said an hour before the game. Despite that, 20 people remained in line for the bar around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Other fans shied away from shelling out hundreds for entry, staying home or hanging out on Clark Street with drinks in hand.
Two women who moved to Chicago a few months ago stood outside Clark Street Beach, 3419 N. Clark St., chatting with two men who paid the $100 cover fee through the large open window on the unusually warm fall night.
Raquel Raies (left) and Lauren Weisheit stood outside Clark St. Beach Saturday, chatting with customers who paid the $100 cover to get in. [DNAinfo/Ariel Cheung]
"Apparently these people don't care about feminine charm," in lieu of cash, joked Raquel Raies, 31.
Inside, 25-year-old Spencer Schafer said the six drinks and unlimited buffet that came with his $100 ticket was "a really good deal."
Raies and Lauren Weisheit, 28, of Streeterville, said they'd been waiting outside the bright yellow bar for over two hours Saturday, mulling over whether they wanted to pony up the $100 to get in.
"We'll probably stay out here and watch," Weisheit said.
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