Lantern Haus, 7414 Madison St., has been ordered by the village to close for seven days or until their liquor license hearing, which will possibly be held next week.
Mayor Rory Hoskins said he received photos on July 24 of crowds waiting to get into the bar, showing over a dozen people, not socially distanced and not all wearing masks, standing along the front windows on Madison Street.
An officer responding to a call at Lantern Haus witnessed at least 50 people inside the bar. Lantern Haus has a occupancy capacity of 110, but state of Illinois COVID-19 restrictions allow a maximum occupancy of 25 percent at this time.
Over the past few weeks, the bar has been given warnings from the police, both verbal and in writing, related to occupancy, serving after hours, and patrons exiting onto Madison Street with open containers of alcohol.
Hoskins spoke with Police Chief Tom Aftanas and the village attorney on July 24 to draw up the order demanding that the bar close for a week.
“This is serious,” said Hoskins. “They have been operating recklessly. We can’t have this on Madison Street.”
He said he’s heard from one of the owners, Patrick Jacknow, that finding responsible employees has been difficult, but Hoskins said with rising COVID-19 numbers in Illinois, Forest Park’s not going to take any chances.
“We want our bars to behave responsibly,” Hoskins said.
Aubrey and Patrick Jacknow, owners of Lantern Haus, did not have a comment on the evening of July 24.
This article was edited to change the occpuancy capacity of the bar from 65 to 110.