After Chicago's Deadliest Weekend of 2021, Mayor Lightfoot Proposes an Alcohol Curfew, Alleging, "Quality of Life" Issues

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is inserting her heavy-hand into your personal consumption of alcohol.

The Temperance Society ain’t got nothing on da Mayuh.

From the other paper of record—hey, I’m Team Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago grocery and convenience stores would have to stop selling booze at 10 p.m. under a permanent curfew included in a sweeping pandemic relief package unveiled by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday.

The ordinance would ban sales of packaged liquor products between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. every day except Sunday, when they’d start at 8 a.m. The proposal would effectively bring an end to the days of liquor stores remaining open into the early morning hours, though sales would begin several hours earlier on Sundays.

Some Chicagoans slammed the changes.

Having been born and raised in Chicago, and familiar with the town’s drinking habits (a story for another day), I can only imagine. The air is probably as deeply blue as the Chicago River is muddy green. You know what I mean.

But it’s not just about infringing on certain freedoms, but infringing on the profit margin of already struggling small businesses.

Ali Thabet, owner of Ashland Market in Noble Square, said the plan feels like a “low blow” to liquor stores that have struggled through the pandemic. Should it pass the City Council, Thabet said he would likely have to cut staff.

“It’s going to drive all the business out of Chicago and just kill smaller businesses,” he said of the plan. “It will hurt us for the long run.”

Ashland Market currently stays open until 11 p.m., the cutoff for stores’ selling packaged alcohol under eased pandemic restriction announced in March. Lightfoot initially set a 9 p.m. curfew as the coronavirus outbreak took hold last April. But with the city now reopening and the weather heating up, Thabet would like to keep his doors open much longer every day.

So why these bright, shiny objects, Mayor Lightfoot? One would think she delights in pissing people off and courting controversy, like her decision to only take interviews from people with a high melanin count.

At a news conference after Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Lightfoot said there’s “room for discussion” about the proposal but raised concerns about “quality of life issues that sometimes creep up around these businesses,” pointing to loitering and “other illegal activity.”

“We expect that there will be a robust debate and discussion, but there’s a real issue that absolutely can’t be ignored,” she said.

“Quality of Life” issues? From the headlines, the West and South Side of the city would like to have a word about that.

May 21: Gang members believed they were targeting rival when firing at SUV, wounding 2-year-old: prosecutors.

David Contreras, 18, and Rodolfo Irigoyen, 21, were arrested Wednesday after officers saw them in the Honda Accord used in the attack, Chicago police said.

May 24: Deadliest weekend of the year in Chicago: 12 killed, 42 wounded in shootings

Nearly all of the violence happened in neighborhoods on the South and West sides identified last fall as priority areas where police and other resources were to be boosted.

May 26: Boy, 16, shot and killed in Roseland home

The shooting occurred in the first block of East 113th Place.

This one should be a gut punch:

After deadliest weekend of 2021, CPD prepares for anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, Memorial Day weekend

In addition to 12-hour shifts, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said the department is canceling officers’ days off over the holiday weekend.

So, Chicagoans see how much Mayor Lightfoot really cares about quality of life. Especially store owner Ali Thabet:

Thabet scoffed at Lightfoot’s rationale, saying, “The city has much more problems than a liquor store being opened until 1 or 2 a.m. Crime is all over and she wants to focus on this matter.”

This is probably why 300 protestors paid a visit last week to Lightfoot’s Logan Square home. I’m sure they didn’t have to ring the bell; they were heard loud and clear.

#2Years2Much is being kind.