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Proposed Liquor Code Change Could Allow Spirits Sales At Some Entertainment Venues

Proposed Liquor Code Change Could Allow Spirits Sales At Some Entertainment Venues

The Naperville Liquor Commission is proposing an amendment to the city’s liquor code that would allow for spirits to be served at establishments that have a Class R theater liquor license. Currently, the Class R license only allows for the sale of beer and wine.

Matrix Club Request

The proposal for the change came during Thursday’s Liquor Commission meeting in a request by The Matrix Club. The restaurant, banquet hall and concert venue at 808 S. Rt. 59 asked for a theater liquor license with that amendment, to allow them to sell spirits along with beer and wine before and during performances.

Commissioners were receptive to the change. “I do like the idea of doing an amendment to the class rather than doing a variance, rather than continuing doing these one-offs changes for particular situations,” said Commissioner Tony Signorella.

Bottle Service

The Matrix Club also asked for licenses to sell alcohol in its 4,500 square-foot restaurant and to have alcohol at catered events in its 20,500 square-foot banquet and entertainment space. In addition, it had requested another amendment for bottle service, which would allow customers at certain tables and VIP areas to purchase an entire bottle of spirits to keep at their table for self-service. Liquor commissioners were wary of the idea when it was first proposed by the club at the last Liquor Commission meeting in April.

At Thursday’s meeting, Matrix Club owner Madan Kulkarni suggested an alternative type of service.

“We are pulling out the bottle service from our menus. It’s not going to be offered to the people. In case there is a specific request for any bottle service, the bottle service would be provided to them, by our staff, and they will not be allowed to touch and serve themselves,” said Kulkarni.

Commissioner Michael DiSanto remained unconvinced.

“I believe that would likely still be inconsistent with our code. Drinks have to be purchased individually. You can’t be served more than one drink at a time,” said DiSanto.

Commissioner John Koranda suggested putting a hold on the idea until the business was better established.

“I’m not supportive of the bottle service but it is something to be considered. Revisit it in six months to a year after it’s up and running,” said Koranda.

Next Steps

Ultimately the commission voted to approve the three licenses requested by The Matrix Club, but denied the amendment for bottle service. The proposal to amend the Class R Theater License to allow for the sale of spirits will now go to city council for its consideration.

Naperville News 17’s Tim Jacobi reports

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