Forest Park bars and restaurants no longer have to wait for village council meetings to get approval for internal events.
Forest Park Village Council voted unanimously on October 24 to amend the township ordinance to make the approval of entertainment licenses the responsibility of the village manager. If the mayor rejects the application, the applicant can appeal this decision to the municipal council.
In 2021, amid concerns about rowdy behavior at some Madison Street bars, the Village Council took the more practical approach to entertainment licenses. At one point, the council imposed a moratorium on events while trying to clarify legal requirements. But concerns have since eased, with several commissioners arguing that the Council’s close scrutiny is no longer necessary.
The village has long had a requirement that liquor license holders who wish to “sponsor, conduct or permit entertainment” must apply for an entertainment license. The provision was rarely enforced until mid-2021. The village council imposed a moratorium on issuance of entertainment licenses to give the village time to update the language. The moratorium expired before changes were passed, but the Council approved more up-to-date language on October 12, 2021, and made some other changes in recent months.
The village council maintained regulations requiring all indoor entertainment to cease no later than 11pm and the ban on entertainment in sidewalk cafes. The licenses are still only valid for one month – but now the village can react faster because they are not tied to municipal council meetings, which take place on the second and fourth Monday of the month.
While the council was supposed to consider two entertainment licenses — one for a private event at Exit Strategy Brewing, 7700 Madison St., and one for a DJ for evening music entertainment at Fiore Pizzeria and Bakery, 7407 Madison St. — but the commissioners agreed to entrust the village administrator Moses Amidei with the administration.
As the ordinance came to a vote, Commissioner Ryan Nero, who had previously urged Mayor Rory Hoskins to act more quickly on the entertainment license regulations, made a point of explaining exactly what the changes entailed and asking if he understood her correctly.
“That’s right, thanks to your constant intuitions,” the mayor replied.
“Thanks for the clarification,” Nero replied.