Has Thursday Night Out suddenly gone dry?

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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I and several other participants, including business owners, are confused about the rules for drinking beer and wine at the TNO event in Downtown OP.

On Thursday, July 12. I went into Lea Cafe and purchased some food and a bottle of wine with some plastic glasses for sharing with family and friends at the music on Marion Street — as I have been doing for over a year. I was discretely approached by police Officer Love and advised that we can't have the bottle of wine at our table.

We were at a large round table on the street as there were about six of us. Officer Love was very nice about it and advised me that this came down from her supervisor, Jacobsen. I approached Colleen, the owner of Lea, and they had just been told the same thing. Yet wine and beer is being sold from a tent at the north end of Marion Street. Also as a patron of Lea I could sit on the sidewalk outside their premises at a table for two and have my wine (I assume from a purchased bottle) as I have done often.

I regularly sit outside Khyber Pass and Mancini's doing the same with friends during TNO.

We have in the past purchased a beer from the Beer Shop on North Boulevard and taken them in plastic cups to the TNO event — two shops along — but later on Thursday we were told by the manager there that all beer now had to be consumed on the premises. 

What has been wrong with what the several hundred people have been doing over the past few years? We buy our beer and our wine from the local vendors, sit at a table on Marion or sometimes on the curb, and enjoy the music. Has the community had a few riots due to drinking that we are not aware of?

Yes, I'm European and raised in a culture of relaxed social drinking — and I thought Oak Park was becoming a bit more tolerant of that.

Would you please investigate what the rules are and let us know?

We want to support our local businesses, but Forest Park and their Groovin' in the Grove on Tuesday is looking more inviting.

Bill McClung

Oak Park

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Scott Rozman from Oak Park  

Posted: July 21st, 2018 5:15 PM

Interesting... in June of this year I bought dinner and a beer at one of the restaurants as takeout and said I was going to sit at one of the event tables as my kids were eating food from s different restaurant. The cashier was not 21 so I was handed an opener for my beer bottle to stay legal. Maybe local ordinances were not being followed and now they are? If there were no "problems" from the alcohol, something should be changed to allow this again!

Helen Vogel  

Posted: July 17th, 2018 12:36 PM

Bill- I believe the liquor ordinance (or the particular type of festival liquor license that DTOP has) prohibits you from pouring the liquor yourself. You may sit at a restaurant outside and drink the bottle you purchase while a server pours it, or you can purchase a glass of beer that has been poured into a cup for you. You may not however, purchase "packaged liquor" and pour it for yourself. Just my thought.

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