ST. CHARLES, Mo. — The St. Charles City Council introduced a controversial liquor bill that proposes changes to historic main street’s restaurants and bars.
The council originally was scheduled to introduce revisions to two ordinances a few weeks back, but they postponed it to tonight for further discussion.
If the proposed bill passes, it would affect a select few bars and nightclubs as well as some future businesses. Many local businesses showed their disdain for the changes, putting up signs saying: “Vote no for liquor bill.”
“Main street is thriving right now because there is a wonderful balance of offices, retail, and dining,” said a potential business owner. “If the council disrupts that balance, you’re going to disrupt the thriving ecosystem that currently exists and fundamentally alter the awesomeness that is today’s Main Street. This is a huge gamble, and the potential for unintended consequences is too great.”
The liquor bill focuses on easing restrictions for bars by eliminating the loosely enforced 50/50 rule, which asks businesses to try to keep sales to 50 percent food and 50 percent liquor to curb customers getting rowdy like last summer.
The bill would also require a conditional use permit for any place applying for a liquor license, a new point system, and a revised liquor commission.
At the city council meeting Tuesday night, business owners and locals packed the room unanimously opposing the bill. The public commenters said it would allow more drinking, which in turn would disturb the family-friendly atmosphere on Main Street.
“Why are our bars and entertainment districts so more important than us? When is the last time Walter’s, Thros, Framations, or myself — and I have over 12,000 square feet — have had the police called? It’s only when we have crimes committed from these bars. Why do you get the right to take that from us? Once again, have you asked us what’s best for us?” said one main street business owner.
A vote is scheduled for a city council meeting later in the month on the third Tuesday of June.