The Forest Park Tap Room reopened last weekend following a one-week suspension of its liquor license for failing to maintain the bar “in a peaceable and orderly manner.”
On March 4, Forest Park Mayor Rory Hoskins, acting in his capacity as the village’s liquor commissioner, suspended the Tap Room’s liquor license for one week following a hearing earlier that morning. The Tap Room, located at 7321 Madison St., was forced to close from March 4 through 11, a suspension that meant the bar was closed during the village’s popular St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 5.
After hearing from five witnesses: Forest Park Chief of Police Ken Gross, police officer Andrea Caines, neighbor Jason Lumsden, Forest Park Tap Room co-owner Hansel Law and Forest Park Tap Room Security Director Alex Williams, Hoskins ruled that the Tap Room violated five sections of the village’s liquor code.
Hoskins found that not only did the Tap Room not maintain the bar “in a peaceful and orderly manner,” but that it did not “[Em]ploy sufficient agents or employees in order to maintain the peace,” permitted fighting, did not immediately notify police when any employee of the bar observed criminal activity and failed to report a criminal incident within two business days.
The ruling states that Hoskins did not find the testimony of Law or Williams credible.
The incident that sparked the hearing was a brief fight outside the Tap Room that occurred around 12:40 a.m. on Feb 13.
According to the order suspending the Tap Room’s license, Law testified that because the Tap Room’s security cameras did not have any footage of the fight, the fight must have emanated from other location. But Law also testified that the Tap Room does not have any security cameras filming the exterior of the bar and that in most instances fights outside a bar usually begin inside the bar.
Neighbors who live in the condominiums across Madison Street from the Tap Room notified police about the fight, which was over by the time the police arrived.
The Tap Room opened in late 2020 in the space that formerly housed Healy’s Westside and has been a source of controversy in Forest Park for much of that time.
The bar has been cited by the liquor commissioner on numerous occasions since its opening, including in August, when Hoskins revoked the Tap Room’s liquor license after ruling the bar had stayed open after hours. But in January, the Illinois State Liquor Control Commission reversed the village’s license revocation, ruling that the there was no evidence that the bar was selling liquor after hours.
During the hearing on March 4, Lumsden testified that he and his wife have experienced many disturbances caused by patrons of the Tap Room. Lumsden testified that at times he and his wife have feared for their safety, and he said that that he had not experienced such problems while Healy’s was in operation.
There were apparently no major incidents at the Tap Room this past weekend.
“Saturday was a bit rowdy, but with St. Patty’s day, we expected it,” said Hannah Boudreau, a resident of a condominium across Madison Street from the Tap Room who has been a leading critic of the bar. “We’ll see how things go with the warmer weather.”