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Park Ridge gives preliminary approval for liquor license for live entertainment at Pickwick Theater

The Park Ride City Council tentatively approved alcohol sales for certain events at the historic Pickwick Theater at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Copernicus Foundation, will hold live shows at the main amphitheater in Pickwickapplied for a special liquor license to sell alcohol at the venue. The theater’s four small screens, which will continue to play movies, will not be involved in the arrangement.

The license requires one drink per patron per transaction limit on alcohol sales, according to Deputy City Clerk Brigid Madden.

The councilor expressed concern that patrons might find loopholes to buy drinks from Pickwick without any intention of going to a show.

City Attorney Adam Simon said the only way a person can purchase alcohol is if they purchase a ticket to a live performance at the Pickwick.

4th Ward Ald. Harmony Harrington also had concerns about when alcohol could be purchased, as Copernicus’ practice allowed patrons to purchase alcohol up to three hours before the show.

Early entry tickets and late exit tickets, likely for VIP meet-and-greets, will allow ticket holders to purchase alcohol, according to Simon. If patrons don’t have the correct tickets, they “can’t loiter for hours after the show ends, [and] “They can’t get there too early unless they have a ticket that says they can get in before the show starts,” he said.

Hubert Cioromski, chairman of the board of directors of the Copernicus Foundation, answered some questions at the meeting and said that Copernicus has no intention of building a bar that operates outside the concessions for the shows it organizes.

Mayor Marty Maloney told Cioromaki: “I don’t want this to be a bar… and I know [you don’t want to be a bar] “or it will raise the ire of some of our restaurants and bars.”

The city council will vote on final approval of the license at its next regular meeting in less than two weeks.

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