In this moment of peril for both the safety of Forest Parkers and the solvency of Madison Street bar owners, we find it incomprehensible that a bar, the Forest Park Tap Room, with a dismal history over a very short time, didn’t take local liquor ordinances seriously enough to get its bar shut down on time the night of June 18.
On Sunday the village once again suspended the bar’s liquor license pending a hearing with the mayor/liquor commissioner. That will happen later this week.
Our advice: Shut them down. Put them out of business.
And follow through on the initial village intentions from early spring when chaos first erupted along Madison. This means not only bringing pain for the bar’s owners, Lance and Hansel Law but also for the owners of the property who made the lease to the Law brothers.
Selling liquor is a privilege not a right. And with that privilege comes serious responsibility as we all know that overserved patrons are a threat to themselves and to others. We’ve seen the evidence of that since COVID restrictions eased.
An empty storefront at Circle and Madison is a small price to pay for some calm and respect for the village’s laws.
Further west on Madison we have a tougher case with the Urban Pioneer Group facility, which hosts events. It was Mother’s Day weekend when the closing of a party there spilled onto the street and spiraled into a dangerous encounter for local (Forest Park and beyond) police officers who tried to intervene on an assault and were verbally and physically abused by a rowdy crowd of some 50 people.
As the village works toward a settlement with UPG’s owner, we’d urge a firm response to requests that earlier fines be abated. This mess is what started the entire early bar shutdown across the village. Further, early denials by UPG’s owners that its patrons caused the confrontation have now been proven false by new surveillance videos that make plain the miscreants were UPG party-goers.
It’s only late June. The summer is just underway.
Time to get tougher on the specific establishments proven unwilling to follow the rules and cooperate in maintaining good order.
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