St. Charles aldermen favor expanded alcohol sales in city – Chicago Daily Herald

In perhaps a show that city officials believe they’ve kicked any sentiments about being a bar town, St. Charles aldermen supported expanded access to alcohol Monday night, including a change that would increase video gambling hours.

The changes include allowing alcohol sales at gas stations, expanding breweries, and liquor sales before 10 a.m. on Sunday for the first time. Police Chief James Keegan said the alterations to the city’s liquor laws come at the request of local business owners.

“We pride ourselves in St. Charles as being business-friendly,” Keegan said. “We like to listen to our proprietors.”

The full city council will take a final vote on the changes July 5.

Nick Smith, the owner of Alexanders Cafe, said expanded liquor hours on Sundays is a hospitality issue. Sunday is the only day of the week alcohol sales don’t begin at 7 a.m. in the city.

“This is not a money grab,” Smith said. “It’s more about the customers coming to visit St. Charles and dine in the city. The current situation creates confusion as to whether I’m the bad guy or the city is the bad guy because someone can’t have a Bloody Mary or a Mimosa. This is a good, level playing field to be at so that people who come to our city to dine aren’t stopped by a municipal code, and they can leave satisfied.”

Alderman Maureen Lewis voted against the change. She said the move invites other requests to allow alcohol sales even earlier or later into the night. But Smith said he expects early liquor sales to be minimal given the experience of the Alexander’s location in Elgin.

“I don’t think there’s anybody coming to these stores liquored up or on an all-nighter,” Smith said.

The pending change in alcohol sale

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