Here’s a story that didn’t get enough attention in the Review when it came before the village council a month back. By a unanimous vote, the council agreed in September to cut back the hours that retail stores can sell alcohol in Forest Park.
Starting Nov. 1, 11 p.m. will be the closing hour for liquor sales at a retail establishment. More notably, we’d say, on that same date, the earliest one can buy alcohol will be 10 a.m. It was the early morning purchases, consumption, disposal, misbehavior which was most annoying to neighbors of these stores. With this action, the mayor and council members declared that residents count more than any incremental sales a liquor store might ring up in the early morning.
As David King, a long-time resident and more notably the leading commercial leasing agent in town, told the council in his comments before the vote, “Our town has grown up over the past 10 or 15 years. We’re not the Wild West we were back then.” King, who is directly responsible for many of the new retail and restaurant movers into Forest Park in that same time period, described those moves as near universally “an upgrade” over previous tenancy.
He didn’t refer to the council’s previous decision to maintain its ban on video poker in local establishments, but it goes hand-in-hand with the decision to shutter alcohol sales at the start and finish of each day. “The hours proposed,” said King, “are the next step in moving the town ahead.”
He is right. Forest Park is making conscious decisions to direct and control its commercial vitality. Whether it is constraining liquor sales, banning gambling, spacing out any beauty shops or beauty supply outlets, the village is thoughtfully choosing to upgrade its shops and restaurants. Good decisions.