Freeport Discussing Bring Your Own Booze Ordinance for Restaurants

FREEPORT (WIFR) -- ‘This Is It Eatery’ owner, Randall Skeens knows what his restaurant is missing: the ability to serve beer or wine with meals. That problem may be resolved soon with a proposed ordinance would allow customers to bring their own drinks into Freeport restaurants. An idea Skeens says would be a big boost to business.

"That's the uniqueness of it. It's just a different concept. Other cities are doing it throughout the United States. It's not just Freeport, it's all over. We just want to add something different to Freeport”, says Skeens.

Freeport City Council has been debating a ‘bring your own booze law’. BYOB made its first appearance in front of aldermen two weeks ago and was voted down 3-4. Despite the failed measure, the ordinance may be brought up for discussion Monday night.

Mayor George Gaulrapp says the ordinance would help give restaurants an extra tool to succeed in the city.

In order for the ordinance to appear on the council floor again, an alderman who initially voted against it must revive it. However, some councilmembers are hoping the liquor law doesn't get a second chance.

"Establishments that already have a liquor license, would not like to see it altered in any way. This is just a way to get a cheaper liquor license. I don't feel it would be a great way to monitor who is coming in with or going out with open or unopened liquor”, says Freeport alderman at-large Andrew Crutchfield.

If the proposed law does pass, restaurants would pay a one-time, one thousand dollar fee for BYOB.

The current fee for a regular liquor license in Freeport is $10,000.


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  • by roger_p Location: freeport on Mar 5, 2012 at 08:05 AM
    wow! what a wonderfully bad idea. how funny would it be if they passed this and every establishment that had a $10,000 liquor license decided this $1000 option was a cheaper idea and switched over. oh, the lost revenue. then we could here the city whine some more about how broke they are. it's really funny how gualrapp thinks this will help bring business to freeport.
  • by Jack Location: Freeport on Mar 5, 2012 at 04:14 AM
    This ordinance was already voted on and the motion failed. So why does Mayor Gaulrapp need to stick his nose back into something that has already been voted on. The Freeport Journal Standard listed city council person Jennie Devine as the person who would be bringing this ordinance up for another vote. Looks like Mayor Gaulrapp got to Ms. Devine and told her to change her mind and how to vote this time around. Ms. Devine was voted on to the council by people who want her to vote with her own mind and heart, not that of the Mayors or any other council member. I whole heartedly back Alderman Crutchfields view on this. He is thinking with his own head and mind. If this should be brought up again and should pass, I see trouble on the horizon. This would only tempt people on their way to an establishment with liquor in their car to open the container early and start drinking on the way. I can foresee more accidents, injuries, or even deaths if this should pass on the second go around.
  • by Sara Martin Location: Mt., Morris, IL on Mar 4, 2012 at 10:14 PM
    I have no concept of how this works. How do they control the patrons of the establishment from over-serving themselves or serving a minor? How does it work if you have a non-empty wine bottle when you are done? Do they take that home with them (open seal) or must you drink all of it there, which in my opinion, would cause people to over-serve themselves, so as not to waste their money. Very confused as to why any business would even want to deal with this without making the profit on the liquor itself. Seems silly to me.
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