Main Street alcohol law changes delayed again

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Matt Hampton

The St. Charles City Hall.

Matt Hampton, Editor-in-chief

The latest attempt to revise a 2018 liquor law, which has been debated between bar owners and other citizens, was taken off the table in the St. Charles City Council meeting last Tuesday, but a new bill may be created soon.  

Among other things, the 2018 law required that restaurants on North Main Street earn at least half their revenue from food, not alcohol. Its supporters say the law reduced crime, but others argue it is unfair and is not necessary to make the city safe.  

A compromise which would lower the food requirement from 50% to 30% was introduced last month, but two of the bill’s sponsors decided to withdraw it on Tuesday, when it was up to be voted on.  

One councilman who decided to withdraw the bill, Bart Haberstroh, said most council members were okay with voting for the lower food requirement, but some had other technical questions.The council voted 8-2 to withdraw the bill.  

The proposal would also have allowed another liquor license for a bar to serve only alcohol. Currently, North Main has two alcohol-only licenses.  

Haberstroh, whose district includes Lindenwood’s campus, said the council will start working on a new bill “right away,” but it will probably not be ready by the next council meeting.

Mayor Dan Borgmeyer, who has opposed the food requirement, declined to comment.  

Tony Bethmann, who runs Tony’s on Main Street, complained to the council during the meeting that it was unfair for some businesses to have different requirements. 

“Why does anybody get an exempt license?” Bethmann said. “If it’s 30%, everybody should sell 30%.”