The last call for the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages on Friday and Saturday nights in Montgomery will soon likely come an hour earlier.
Village board members voiced unanimous support during a March 26 meeting for a plan to amend the village’s liquor ordinance to prohibit the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages after 1 a.m. Currently the ordinance allows the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages at retail stores until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Police Chief Daniel Meyers told the board that police have talked with several local retail stores that hold licenses to sell packaged liquor and they have all indicated they would support the reduced sale hours.
Board member Doug Maresek noted the change would affect “three to four” retail stores that are open 24 hours every day, including local Walgreens stores and Walmart on Orchard Road.
Maresek said he personally supports ending liquor sales at 1 a.m.
“My parents used to say that nothing good happens after midnight. Well, nothing good happens after selling liquor after 1 a.m. Right now it [the 2 a.m. cutoff] makes us one of the latest in the area and I would rather see us move it forward and shorten it to 1 a.m,” he said.
When questioned by board member Theresa Sperling, Meyers said village police have been closely monitoring the impact that the sale of packaged alcoholic beverages between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights has had in the village’s retail corridors.
“This has been on our watch for several years and in the last couple of years we’ve had several serious issues out on Douglas Road between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.,” Meyers said.
Board member Denny Lee noted that he proposed amending the ordinance to cut off package liquor sales at 1 a.m. several years ago but the board at that time was opposed because of concerns that it would hurt village retailers. He noted neighboring Oswego continues to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Lee recalled talking at that time to Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird, who was then serving as Oswego police chief, about curtailing the liquor sale hours in Oswego. Lee said Baird supported a cutoff of 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, but the Oswego Village Board was opposed to the change.
Board member Steve Jungermann asked Meyers if he believes Oswego officials would now be supportive of a 1 a.m. cutoff on Friday and Saturday nights for packaged alcohol sales.
Meyers confirmed he has talked with Oswego Police Chief Jeff Burgner about the possibility that Oswego might amend its ordinance.
“I would expect to have further discussions because we don’t want to push the problem further down the road,” Meyers said.
In a related matter, board members voiced support for a further ordinance amendment that would allow retailers and restaurants to begin the sale of alcoholic beverages at 9 a.m. Sundays. The ordinance currently sets the start time for Sunday sales at 10 a.m.
Lee noted that one local restaurant that holds a liquor license had requested the earlier start time due to requests from patrons for Bloody Marys with breakfast orders.
“We looked at our [police] stats and we don’t have any issue with that one-hour time change,” Meyers told the board.
Village Administrator Jeff Zoephel said the ordinance changes will be made as directed and it will be brought back to the board for a final vote at an upcoming meeting.