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Sunday Brunch Lovers Rejoice: Aldermen To Weigh 9 a.m. Start To Booze Sales

If approved, Chicago restaurants could start pouring beer, wine and spirits at 9 a.m. Sunday rather than waiting until 10 a.m.

Early to brunch? You soon will be able to order that 9 a.m. mimosa.
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CITY HALL — Sunday brunch lovers who want to order a mimosa with their Belgian waffles would be able to imbibe an hour earlier under a proposal set for a vote Thursday.

The measure (O2020-123) sponsored by Alds. Brendan Reilly (42), Michele Smith (43) and Tom Tunney (44) would permit restaurants that are allowed to sell alcohol to start pouring beer, wine and spirits at 9 a.m. Sunday rather than waiting until 10 a.m. to turn on the taps for brunch-goers.

The City Council’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection is scheduled to vote on the matter at its meeting set for 11 a.m. Thursday.

The measure would prohibit restaurants from serving alcohol between 2 and 7 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 3 to 9 a.m. Sundays — provided that between 3 and 11 a.m. Sundays the sale of liquor is “incidental” to the serving of food.

A spokesperson for the Hospitality Association of Chicago said the measure was a “win for Chicago brunch customers and the city’s many brunch spots.”

The measure “will add some much-needed common sense to Chicago’s Sunday brunch laws for locally owned bars and restaurants and make Chicago’s law on the issue almost, but not quite as reasonable as many of Chicago’s suburbs,” said Pat Doerr, the association’s managing director.

In October, the City Council passed a law allowing more grocery stores to start selling beer, wine and spirits at 8 a.m., rather than at 11 a.m., on Sundays.

Aldermen are also set to consider a measure that would allow cab drivers who have their licenses revoked by the city to appeal that decision to Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Comm. Rosa Escareno.

The proposal (S2020-101), which would also apply to chauffeurs, comes after Mayor Lori Lightfoot promised to help Chicago’s beleaguered taxi cab industry, which has shrunk as ride-hailing services have swelled in popularity.

The city’s 2020 budget halved the fee to renew a cab license, and Lightfoot tripled the city’s tax on single-person rides headed into or out of Downtown.

City officials plan to study additional changes to its rules for cabs, but the mayor has yet to endorse the industry’s biggest demand: a cap on the number of ride-hailing vehicles allowed to roam Chicago’s streets.

In addition, aldermen are scheduled to weigh four measures governing the sale of packaged liquor:

  • O2020-115 — lifting a ban on packaged liquor sales on a portion of Austin Avenue n  Gilbert Villegas’36th Ward.
  • O2019-9408O2020-117 — to ban the sale of packaged liquor throughout Brendan Reilly’s 42nd Ward.
  • O2020-160 — lifting a ban on packaged liquor sales on a portion of Clark Street in Tom Tunney’s 44th Ward.

In other action, the City Council’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety will weigh a measure (O2020-122) from North Side Alds. Michele Smith (43) and Tom Tunney (44) that would allow nonprofit groups to purchase one-day permits to allow their employees to park in zones reserved for residents.

The committee is set to meet at 9:30 a.m.

The measure would restart a pilot program that ended in 2018, which allowed nonprofit groups to buy 30 parking passes every month for as many as five of their employees. Smith and Tunney, who represent wards where parking is at a premium, want to restart the pilot program for another year in any area deemed by its local alderman to be congested.

To participate in the program, the nonprofit groups have to be licensed by the state and be located in the residential parking permit zone, or adjacent to it, according to the proposal. The cars that use the permits are also required to be properly licensed and registered.

The measure would launch the program in three residential parking zones, including the zone around Wrigley Field in the 44th Ward and the zone that covers much of Old Town and Lincoln Park in the 43rd Ward.