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Bottled Blonde Is Back — Again — While It Fights City To Keep Its License

The River North restaurant and bar was temporarily closed earlier this week as part of a years-long fight with the city.

Outside the Bottled Blonde in River North.
David Matthews/DNAinfo
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DOWNTOWN — Bottled Blonde, the controversial restaurant and bar in River North, is open … again.

The bar was forced to shut down earlier this week when the a court sided with the city, which has fought for years to revoke the Bottled Blonde’s liquor license. But the Bottled Blonde is appealing the court’s decision and a judge ruled the restaurant, 504 N. Wells St., could stay open in the meantime.

The restaurant had to keep up a $100,000 bond in order to stay open.

“Bottled Blonde is very pleased that the Illinois Appellate Court has ordered that Bottled Blonde may reopen for business while it considers the legal positions of the parties,” the restaurant said in a statement. “The restaurant will be open for business today and looks forward to continuing to be a positive addition to the vibrant River North neighborhood.”

Bottle Blonde opened in 2015 but, over the years, came under heavy criticism from neighbors who said its patrons were too loud and rowdy and vomited and urinated outside on the street.

The Bottled Blonde faced even more scrutiny in 2017 when its strict dress code went viral online, with critics saying it was racist.

By then, the city was already fighting to revoke the Bottled Blonde’s liquor license, saying the venue operated more as a club and bar than the pizzeria it’d claimed to be when setting up. Neighbors had been fighting for an end to the restaurant for years.

The legal proceedings dragged on, with the city bringing up various charges against the Bottled Blonde. The city tried to revoke the restaurant’s liquor license in 2017 and again in November 2018, but a judge ruled the restaurant could keep open while it appealed.

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