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

Join the discussion on social media!

2 replies on “Has Thursday Night Out suddenly gone dry?”