Saturday, October 6, 2012

Juke Joint Saturday Night: Are You Ready for a Club on 83rd Street

Last week, the topic of  liquor licenses was the focus and now it appears when it rains it pours. The City Life Cocktail Lounge located at 712 E. 83rd Street has decided to apply for a Public Place of  Amusement (PPA) license from the City of Chicago.

What is a PPA license. Per the City of Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) defines what establishments need a this type of license:
 The term “Public Place of Amusement” (PPA) includes but is not limited to:
  • Live Theaters & Concert Halls
  • Sports Stadiums
  • Movie Theaters
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Comedy Clubs
  • Businesses with 2+ pool tables
  • Nightclubs & Dance Clubs
  • Businesses with 3+ arcade games
  • Karaoke & DJs
  • Renting out a facility for a party or event open to the public
It is important to understand that a PPA and liquor license have similar guidelines. The major similarity is the distance from a education or religious institution. The requirements for a PPA are as follows:

PPA licenses are not permitted within 200 feet of a church, school, hospital, or building used exclusively for educational purposes. This distance is measured from the nearest point of the business to the nearest point of the restricted facility.
When a new application for a PPA license is filed, BACP will mail a public notice within 5 days to the registered voters who reside within 250 feet of the business. The community is granted a 30-day public comment period and may object to the issuance of the license. A public hearing may take place when needed.

 City Life Cocktail Lounge was a business that the community did not ask for and fought against and opened under the veil of technicalities in the liquor licensing ordinance as it stood at that time. The major setback this business has is that it does not have any off street parking. The adjacent laundromat has a parking lot but does not offer lounge customers access.

My problem with this application is that the owners have and continue to have no respect for the community. They did not consult the community with the initial license and not with this license. The limited parking on the residential blocks is a major problem, as the lounge customers are primarily not residents of Chatham or the 6th ward. This will result in having to convert surrounding block into residential parking permit blocks and costing homeowners additional money. Also, the previous problems of Malcolm's which was located a block east is a major concern as it spiraled out of control and resulted in patrons getting injured.

Alderman Sawyer has publically stated he is opposed to any additional liquor licenses being issued on 83rd Street and the business owner has not consulted him on this license application.

So where do you stand?

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