FOX 32 NEWS - A popular near north restaurant could lose its liquor license because of increasing complaints about unruly behavior spilling into the streets.
Neighbors of the Bottled Blond restaurant say they've got the video to prove their case. The first hearing over the restaurant's liquor license was held Tuesday.
Neighbors of the Bottled Blonde Pizzeria and Beer Garden say there's too much Beer Garden and not enough pizzeria at the popular River North restaurant. Videos they've taken over just the last few weeks show raucous behavior on the sidewalks outside the restaurant, patrons urinating and vomiting near the entrance to the condo building next door, and frequent visits from police and ambulances.
“It's really created a dangerous situation for us,” said neighbor Miriam Waltz.
Waltz was one of several neighbors who showed up today at City Hall for a hearing on whether the restaurant is violating its business and liquor licenses.
“This is the last hope we have for getting some semblance of safety back into our neighborhood,” Waltz said.
The hearing today was prompted by a city complaint which says the Bottled Blonde is licensed as a restaurant, but is acting more like a nightclub.
“We met with them before they opened and they told us they would just be a restaurant, that they would be a family dining place, and since then it's been nothing but a nightclub which has defiled the neighborhood,” Waltz said.
The pizzeria's gotten more attention recently over its controversial new dress code, which banned everything from plaint white t-shirts to fur jackets. Neighbors made a point of wearing banned outfits to the license hearing..
“You can't wear athletic shoes, ripped jeans, flannel around the waist, white t-shirts, fur jacket,” said neighbor Ann.
Bottled Blonde's attorney, Timothy Fitzgerald, showed up in a traditional suit and tie, but he, like the restaurant's owners, declined to answer any questions. The hearing was merely introductory and was over in a minute. The next one is set for July 11th.
The city has different licenses for businesses, depending on whether they are primarily functioning as restaurants or taverns. Bottle Blonde is licensed as a restaurant.