Sometimes it’s all about the timing. Just as a report, by online media 24/7 Wall Street LLC, was being released showing that Naperville, along with Elgin and Chicago have the highest consumption of alcohol in the State of Illinois, all hell was breaking loose in downtown Naperville last weekend with alcohol-fueled mayhem and bedlam.
Five separate dust-ups involving unruly individuals and the Naperville police broke out at four downtown Naperville locations including Jackson Avenue Pub 7, at 7 West Jackson just after midnight on Saturday morning, then a little over an hour later at Bar Louie, 22 E. Chicago, then only a minute later at the same location chaos erupted, and then just an hour later at 2:30am fisticuffs ignited near Features Bar at 14 W. Chicago. The following night, Sunday at about 2am, a fifth arrest occurred close to the municipal parking deck at 75 W. Chicago Avenue. In total, police rounded up five people on charges of battery and fighting. Other than that it was a peaceful night in kid and family-friendly downtown Naperville.
Naperville city officials came up with a solution to the alcohol-fueled problems over the last few years, and the solution, in part, was to not shine a light on the problem. If it’s not seen, heard, or written about, then it’s not occurring as much. Creative solution to avoid the problem.
Somewhat similar to the solution to the problem of homeless people in Naperville. Homeless folks don’t exist in Naperville; now they’re called street dwellers. Bingo, just like that, problem solved.
Out of 50 states in the country, only three states drink more alcohol, so that means that Naperville is one of the top three alcohol consuming cities in one of the top four alcohol consuming states. I don’t think you’ll find that bit of news on the City of Naperville’s website.
Half of the solution to a problem, is the awareness that the problem exists, and the previous, and current city council don’t seem to have that awareness. If an alcohol related agenda item, is a topic of discussion during a Naperville city council meeting, it’s a safe bet it will be approved.
Naperville city officials continue to refer to Naperville as a kid and family-friendly city, however their actions and decisions indicate otherwise. Naperville’s new focus for the future is to be a destination for entertainment. And the future is here now.
I would have to agree that the latest changes to Naperville’s Liquor ordinances make obtaining and consuming liquor easier. And to be honest I really do not have a problem with that so long as it is handled in a way that limits the impact to adults that can legally and responsibly consume alcohol, unfortunately most of the latest changes do not.
If you have been in Costco’s since the latest changes you will see that the concept of liquor confinement (which the council said should continue) no longer exist for any of the wine or beer products and the confinement area for spirit (hard liquor) has an “outer wall” that consists of palettes of beer and wine. It is a reach to consider the displays of all the beer and some of the wine as either and endcap or pairing display. And most of the wine display can not, by any standard, be classified as either one of these display types. Several members of the council and the mayor assured concerned citizens and community groups that any wine or beer not in an endcap or pairing display would continue to be displayed in the confinement area with other spirits. Clearly this commitment is not being honored.
Of course this is not really that surprising since the repeated justification for making this change was to increase liquor sales in these stores. This was the only pro balanced against all the cons given, for not making the latest changes, by concerned citizens and community groups. This was clearly a case of the council and mayor being more supportive of business needs then those of Naperville citizens and taxpayers.
Hmmm. Just a month ago on a Monday night Naperville’s Mayor Chirico and Councilman Hinterlong met up at a bar on Chicago Ave. with other guests LONG after the Hawks overtime game was over. They remained inside that bar until after 1 AM, which was when I left the area. They must decide to avoid those spaces on the weekends to ensure they don’t get caught up in any melees