Home / News / Naperville City Council approves 32-ounce beer/cider maximum serving – with limitations – Chicago Tribune

Naperville City Council approves 32-ounce beer/cider maximum serving – with limitations – Chicago Tribune


Restaurants in Naperville will now be able to serve up to 32 ounces of beer or cider, with limitations, paving the way for an entertainment complex that relies on larger portions to move forward.

Naperville City Council approved increased pour limit Tuesday I initially push back against change at a meeting last month.

The change to the liquor law was spurred by a request from New York-based Brixmor Property Group, which asked the city to adjust the city’s alcohol service limits to be more amenable to tenants renting in the Block 59 development.

Brixmor argued that the large dining and entertainment complex proposed for the northeast corner of Route 59 and Aurora Boulevard would be jeopardized if tenants could not offer the same products they sell elsewhere.

The developer requested two changes to the standing limits on behalf of tenants: increasing the maximum wine serving from six ounces to nine ounces and allowing draft beer/cider quantities of 32 ounces. Two proposed tenants, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Yard House, sell the larger portions at their restaurants elsewhere.

Council members approved the wine request at their Feb. 20 meeting, but remained cautious about raising beer/cider limits.

Brixmor’s second request, with a few added conditions, passed council this week.

Restrictions are that no patron will be served more than a 32-ounce serving per visit, and there will be a stopping time of 10 p.m. for larger drinks — 11 p.m. for late-night liquor licensees.

“This is a big step in the right direction,” Brixmor property manager Andrew Balzer said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

“There is still a piece to finalize, but this was a huge step for the project at this stage,” Balzer said, noting that Brixmor worked with city staff to find a compromise.

“At the end of the day, they are going to do what is in the best interest of the city, and we support that. … And we want to make sure (their passage) works,” he said.

The approved change applies only to Class B licensees, which are restaurants with customer bars, as do larger wine portions. Currently, there are nearly 100 Class B driver’s license holders in the city, 33 of which are in the city center.

Councilman Ian Holzhauer cast the lone no vote against changing the boundaries. He said he “doesn’t understand why we have to change the entire city’s rules” because of one request and rated the 32-ounce pour as too high despite the restrictions.

“If we say public safety is our No. 1 priority, that (we) want to be family friendly as a town, I think we’re kind of talking out of both sides of our mouths,” Holzhauer said.

City staff attending Tuesday’s meeting also suggested checking the types of beer and cider allowed in larger brews for those with lower alcohol content, but that warning was not reflected in the final decision.

Councilman Benny White questioned whether the city would allow all types of draft liquor to come in 32-ounce servings, but Councilwoman Jennifer Bruzan Taylor disagreed, saying it would be too difficult to regulate the type of alcohol.

Mayor Scott Wehrli, who chairs the city’s Liquor Commission, said restaurants have a responsibility to not over-serve their customers.

“Regardless of whether customers had something to drink before arriving at the restaurant or whether they consumed a 24-ounce beer or a larger beer,” Wehrli said, “it is still the restaurants’ responsibility to ensure that (customers) did not become intoxicated while on the premises.”



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