CHICAGO - You can enjoy alcohol at bars and restaurants in Chicago beyond 10 p.m. at night.
But if you want to stop at a liquor store after 10 p.m., soon you could be out of luck if Mayor Lori Lightfoot has her way.
Lightfoot says selling liquor at stores after 10 p.m. is a public safety issue. On Wednesday, she presented a 94-page ordinance to the City Council that aldermen blocked.
"Acknowledging the real quality of life issues that sometimes creep up with these businesses," said Lightfoot. "Loitering and you have other illegal activity that happens around them."
The mayor took it a step further saying she heard from council members and the Chicago Police Department that calls for service surrounding many of the packaged goods stores, created quality of life issues for residents.
The Illinois Retail Merchants Association says the mayor is treating most members of her group unfairly by lumping them in with what may or may not be a few irresponsible sellers of packaged alcohol.
"The city isn’t ending the sale of alcohol for everyone at 10 p.m. for every business. Bars, restaurants, and craft breweries could continue to sell alcohol until 4 a.m. if they have a license to do so," said Tanya Triche-Dawood of the Illinois Merchants Association.
John Mourikes owns two small, 24-hour grocery stores near the mayor's home in the Logan Square neighborhood. He caters to people who work late shifts.
Mourikes is worried that Lightfoot's ordinance would devastate his already struggling businesses.
"You don’t lose just your liquor sales. If someone can’t get the alcohol too, they are going to go somewhere else to shop," said Mourikes.
The City Council blocked the ordinance, so it could die, or be reworked and voted on in future meetings.