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Government, Politics & Issues

St. Charles City Council Passes Changes To Liquor Laws, Creates Appeals Board

Visitors to North Main Street in St. Charles start to head home after bars close on a Friday night in early August. The street has seen smaller crowds on weekends recently, and bar owners say a new liquor ordinance isn't helping. (Aug. 2 2019)
File Photo | Nicolas Telep | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Charles City Council passed a law Tuesday night that creates a Liquor License Appeals Board and modifies the punitive point system for bars and restaurants. 

Before, penalized owners would appeal to the same commission that issued them the points. Mayor Dan Borgmeyer said that was unfair.

Now, both the commission and the board will each have five members, including restaurant and business owners from North Main Street. 

The mayor is waiting on council approval for new board and commission members he selected to be approved.

The points do still apply citywide and now expire after 12 months. In the original ordinance, if liquor license holders accrued three or more points, they could potentially lose their license.

Violations like underage drinking and murder were previously both 3.5 points. Now both underage drinking and overcrowding have been reduced to two-point violations.

Borgmeyer, who is currently in his first year of office, is pushing to bring more business to St. Charles. Main Street currently has five empty buildings, and Borgmeyer said the laws have been “detrimental” to his economic plans. 

“I’ve been trying to get people to move restaurants and things to St. Charles,” he said. “The problem I’m having is they’re going, ‘We’re not going to put three million bucks into a restaurant and have you close us down because we serve one underage kid.’”

On March 3, the city council will vote on whether to add an additional liquor license to bring in the International Tap House, a bar that serves craft beers, to the city.

The council will also vote on reducing the current food sales requirements of 50% or $200,000 from restaurants’ annual profits down to 30%.

Follow Kayla Drake on Twitter: @_kayladrake

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