Cary works to set rules for residential-area bar

CARY – The village wants rules to help Coleman’s in the Park operate next to its residential neighbors, but voted against establishing an agreement with the bar Tuesday night, saying it favored rules through its liquor license ordinance.

The proposed agreement – defeated on a 4-2 vote – would have regulated sports activities and amplified music at the bar.

Board members said they prefer to change to the Class “I” liquor license ordinance to allow amplified music and possibly recreational activities such as volleyball or basketball, but with restrictions on hours.

“These are special circumstances,” Trustee Bruce Kaplan said. “The Class ‘I’ was meant to accommodate the special circumstances.”

Coleman’s is adjacent to a residential area and the only bar in the village with a Class “I” license.

The agreement would have cut off outdoor sports activities and lighting for the establishment by 10 p.m. every day. No alcoholic beverages would have been allowed in areas used for volleyball or basketball activities. It called for amplified music to be audible on the outdoor deck only until 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Terms of the agreement would have run through April 30. If there were no violations, the agreement could have been extended for a year – through April 30, 2014. Liquor licenses run from May 1 through April 30.

Trustee Karen Lukasik was vehemently against the agreement.

“I don’t like getting into agreements with individual businesses,” Lukasik said. “I think it’s opening a door for everybody else.”

In July, Coleman’s was ordered to pay the village $960 in fines and fees after police documented violations of the tavern’s liquor license. Owner Brett Coleman paid the $960 levied by Mayor Tom Kierna, but appealed to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.

Coleman promised to withdraw the appeal if the agreement was approved.

“We would work with anybody who would work with us in a reasonable manner,” Coleman said.

Outdoor amplified music was being played – a violation of the bar’s liquor license. But Coleman’s also serves food and amplified music to a deck is allowed under the Cary’s Outdoor Seating at Food and Drink Establishments ordinance.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Coleman said there was confusion about whether his bar can have amplified music outside.

According to the village, the police department has received numerous complaints from nearby residents about noise and nighttime activities at the bar.

A police report from June 22 and 23 said the tavern allowed individuals to drink alcoholic beverages on the bar’s outdoor deck after permitted hours, allowed individuals to take alcohol off the outside deck to the volleyball courts, and played music on the deck. Police detectives said they could hear music from across the street and saw one man urinate off the side of the patio area.

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