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Cicero liquor laws: Western suburb plans to ban liquor sales after midnight in bars, restaurants and shops

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CICERO, Ill. (WLS) — After-midnight shots, cocktails and even liquor store purchases will be a thing of the past in the western suburb of Cicero, and that’s not going down well with bar and restaurant owners.

“It saves us three hours, and unfortunately that’s when we have the most traffic. People like to sit down, eat, enjoy a beer and relax,” said Laura Arango, owner of Langostina.

But Cicero leaders say what happens in bars and restaurants until the early hours spills into the streets, putting pressure on police and disrupting the community.

“Over the last, maybe eight months, we’ve noticed an increase in problems,” said Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania. “Fights, violence, noise, damage.”

The solution to what leaders say is alcohol-induced chaos is written in this new city ordinance, passed Tuesday morning, which bans the sale of liquor after midnight, effective Jan. 1.

Lucy Valdez co-owns two bars/restaurants, Hacienda Calavera and Luxor, which she says will be stunted in their growth.

“By denying all these alcohol sales, by reducing them, it’s going to affect us drastically,” Valdez said.

Currently, bars and certain restaurants can serve liquor until 3 a.m. on weekends. One of the bars in Valdez doesn’t open until 9 p.m

Valdez said the amount is in the tens of thousands of dollars.

“I would feel like we would get to the point where we would have to close down our business because you can’t run a bar from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.,” Valdez said.

“It’s going to affect a lot of jobs in Cicero. That’s the part they’re not thinking about,” Arango said.

Still, leaders believe limiting liquor sales is a way to calm the rising violence.

“We need to have one law that applies to everyone, so really it’s a small group of people that are hurting all businesses,” Hanania said.

Bar and liquor store owners hope to come together to make changes to this ordinance before it goes into effect in January, when new permits will be issued.

A city spokesperson says Cicero’s president has said he is willing to meet with business people and work out possible solutions.

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