Forest Park bars and restaurants will no longer need to wait for village council meetings in order to get approval for in house events.

The Forest Park Village Council voted unanimously on Oct. 24 to change the municipal code to make the approval of entertainment licenses the village administrator’s responsibility. If the village administrator rejects the application, the applicant can appeal that decision to the village council. 

 In 2021, the village council took the more hands-on approach to entertainment licenses amid concerns about rowdy behavior at some Madison Street bars. At one point the council imposed an event moratorium as it tried to sort out the legal requirements. But, since then, the concerns have died down, and several commissioners argued the close council supervision was no longer necessary.

The village has a long-standing requirement that liquor license holders that want to “sponsor, conduct, or permit entertainment” must apply for an entertainment license. The provision was seldom enforced until mid-2021.  The village council imposed a moratorium on issuing entertainment licenses to give the village time to update the language. The moratorium expired before any changes were passed, but the council did approve more up-to-date language on Oct. 12, 2021, and it made a few other changes in recent months.

The village council kept the provisions requiring all indoor entertainment to stop no later than 11 p.m., and the ban on entertainment on sidewalk cafes. The licenses are still valid for only one month — but now, because they are not tied to council meetings, which take place every second and fourth Monday of the month, the village can respond faster.

While the council was scheduled to consider two entertainment licenses – one for a private event at Exit Strategy Brewing, 7700 Madison St., and one for a DJ to provide evening musical accompaniment at Fiore Pizzeria and Bakery, 7407 Madison St. – but the commissioners agreed to let village administrator Moses Amidei handle them. 

As the ordinance came up for a vote, Commissioner Ryan Nero, who previously pushed Mayor Rory Hoskins to act quicker on the entertainment license regulations, made the point of explaining exactly what the changes entailed and asking if he understood it correctly. 

“That is correct, thanks to your constant prompting,” the mayor replied.

“Thanks for the clarification,” Nero responded.