ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Some big changes may be coming to main street St. Charles as the City Council introduces proposed changes to two ordinances regarding drinking and live music.
Tuesday night the St. Charles City Council held a special meeting to start a discussion on proposed changes to the two ordinances.
One ordinance is looking at new regulations that would limit live music to be mostly inside unless a provisional permit is issued for an outdoor concert.
According to the city, the 50% rule states that all bar and restaurant sales must be 50% food and 50% alcohol.
“They don’t implement anywhere else in St. Charles except for this six-block area,” said St. Charles resident Jim McGonigle. “I’m not a fan of it.”
During the pandemic, an influx of visitors seemed to result in an uptick in crime. One example of this was back on January 31, 2021. Three St. Charles police officers were hurt trying to break up a fight outside some bars. The 50% rule resurfaced during this time with the goal to curb crime.
“Their mentality back then, God bless them, was food will control behavior. Well, nobody doesn’t commit a crime because they ate a cheeseburger. So that’s why I don’t see there’s a reason for it,” said St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer.
Borgmeyer said it’s affecting potential revenue.
“I’ve had five or six named restaurants in St. Louis, and bars, who have come out and looked at it and said we’re not going to do it as long as you got that,” said Borgmeyer.
He wants it gone and so do many business owners.
“We’re always under the 50% anyways,” said Novella Restaurant co-owner Joe Otey. “I would never say this is an area where crime is very prevalent, but I think it’s more of being reactionary to a scenario instead of being proactive.”
Otey is a co-owner at two other neighboring restaurants. He echoes his partner’s beliefs and those of many businesses on the street claiming these restrictions are nearly impossible to follow.
“I think it just makes a hindrance to all the business and less feasible for more businesses to open up in the area,” he said.
At the last week’s work session, the council discussed the introduction of the amendments, leaning toward removing the 50% rule.
The City Council voted to hold the bill until they can have another work session to discuss it further.