That progress has been made lowering the temperature on Madison Street after nearly two years of late-night turmoil is evident in the village council’s unanimous decision to stop micro-managing granting permission for bars and restaurants to host various forms of in-house entertainment on their premises.

An ordinance, long on the books and long ignored, required local businesses to apply for an entertainment license before hosting live music, bringing in a DJ or other types of business boosting attractions.

After a small handful of Madison Street bars got regularly rowdy after COVID shutdown restrictions were eased, the village council used that ordinance to crack down on such entertainment and required that every license application be voted on by the village council.

As part of a broader effort to shut down specific offenders, the tactic worked.

Now though, responsibility for reviewing and signing off on such requests for entertainment has rightly been given to the village administrator. If the administrator declines to approve a license, a business owner may appeal the decision to the village council.

Seems right.

Other provisions of the entertainment ordinance will remain in effect. So there are limits on hours for live music and DJs, outside entertainment is not allowed on sidewalk dining spots.  

All reasonable steps and precautions.

It was a long, hard road to regaining calm on the street. There were bumps and miscues along the way. But, for now, Madison Street remains a worthy destination for dining, drinking and gathering.

Here’s help on judicial ballot

Selecting judges to vote for is, for most of us, an invitation to feel inadequate as active citizens of Cook County. Very hard to know who these people are, what are their views on the role of judges within a system most of us have doubts about. Maybe we see passing references to endorsements by various local bar associations. 

And then most of us vote blindly or we skip voting for judges entirely. Doesn’t feel good.

So we’re proud this week to be partnering with Injustice Watch, an outstanding nonprofit newsroom, and including its 2022 judicial election guide in all of our print editions across the Greater West Side. That’s Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review, Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, and the Village Free Press which covers Proviso Township.

Here is a link to the digital version of the Injustice Watch guide: