WESTMONT – A new liquor license amendment will permit Westmont bars and restaurants to extend the sale of alcohol by one hour during future special events and holidays.
On Thursday night, the Westmont Village Board approved an ordinance amending Chapter 10, Section 10-84 of the village code, allowing a limited exception that temporarily extends hours in which bars and restaurants can sell alcohol.
The change will allow licensed establishments to open one hour earlier or stay open one hour later up to four times per year. To do so, the bar or restaurant owner must give the liquor commissioner an advanced notice of at least 14 days prior to the event.
Village officials unanimously agreed that the amendment will help generate more revenue on days with unusually early or late sporting events, holidays such as St. Patrick's Day and the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
"This is another way for us to support our local businesses," Westmont Village Manager Ronald Searle said. "Not all of the local bars and restaurants have recovered from the recent recession and several of the owners have said this will help generate revenue."
Prior to the amdendment, restaurants and bars were restricted from selling alcohol before 9 a.m. Sunday through Saturday, and could not serve customers after 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, or after 2 a.m. on Sundays.
Licensed establishments are still be forbidden from staying open after 2 a.m., according to Westmont officials.
The Westmont Village Board agreed that extending the hours of liquor sales on a case-by-case basis will yield additional oversight. On days when a bar is granted extended hours of alcohol sales, police will be doing regular "spot checks," according to Westmont Chief of Police Thomas Mulhearn.
Westmont officials will review the liquor license amendment in one year.