Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday proposed a permanent curfew for alcohol purchases, just days after hundreds of protesters gathered outside her home to express their displeasure with her job performance.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the proposal is part of a “sweeping pandemic relief package” proposed by the mayor, and “would ban sales of packaged liquor products between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day except Sunday, when they’d start at 8 a.m.
As the Sun-Times reported, those who sell alcohol in the city aren’t happy with the proposal:
Ali Thabet, owner of Ashland Market in Noble Square, said the plan feels like a “low blow” to liquor stores that have struggled through the pandemic. Should it pass the City Council, Thabet said he would likely have to cut staff.
“It’s going to drive all the business out of Chicago and just kill smaller businesses,” he said of the plan. “It will hurt us for the long run.”
Ashland Market currently stays open until 11 p.m., the cutoff for stores’ selling packaged alcohol under eased pandemic restriction announced in March. Lightfoot initially set a 9 p.m. curfew as the coronavirus outbreak took hold last April. But with the city now reopening and the weather heating up, Thabet would like to keep his doors open much longer every day.
“This is the time of year that you want to stay open as late as you can,” he said.
Lightfoot told reporters after Wednesday’s City Council meeting that there was “room for discussion” regarding the proposal but there are “quality of life issues that sometimes creep up around these businesses,” such as loitering and “other illegal activity.”
“We expect that there will be a robust debate and discussion, but there’s a real issue that absolutely can’t be ignored,” she added.
As the Sun-Times reported, Chicago liquor stores were able to sell packaged alcohol “until 2 a.m. Sunday through Friday and until 3 a.m. Saturday” prior to the pandemic.
As The Daily Wire’s Jon Brown previously reported, hundreds gathered outside of Lightfoot’s home last week to express their disapproval of her job performance.
“Even liberal community organizers were among the 40 who sponsored the event, which included the Chicago Teachers Union, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Illinois Raise Your Hand, and GoodKids MadCity, according to the event’s Facebook page,” Brown reported.
“For the past 2 years, Lightfoot’s administration has continued to ignore the demands of its people,” the event page said. “This administration has failed on multiple issues — from environmental justice to education to policing to housing and COVID recovery. Join over 30 organizations in calling out Mayor Lightfoot on her [two-]year anniversary and demand that she fulfill her broken promises.”
Meanwhile, in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed a bill making alcohol delivery permanent in the Lone Star State.
“… To help restaurants be able to better deal with the pandemic, we waived the regulation to allow restaurants to sell alcohol to-go,” Abbott said in a video. “Well, it turned out that Texas liked it so much that the Texas Legislature wanted to make that permanent law in the state of Texas.”
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