Monday, November 15, 2010

Big Bear Cafe Finally Gets a Liquor License


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Well, congratulations to Big Bear Cafe...I know it's been a heated process getting their license. Ironically, many local residents were arguing in favor of the license (usually it's the other way around). Neighbors claimed that having Big Bear Cafe, a Bloomingdale fixture since 2005, put more eyes on the streets and has made their neighborhood safer.

It seemed like this well-liked, locally-owned and responsible business would have no problems acquiring a liquor license.

Big Bear ran into problems, however, with their local ANC. The ANC complained that Big Bear illegally served alcohol at special events (which was actually legal, because they used an outside catering company) and that their patio area was operating without a permit. Also, the ANC made claims that the establishment had not "sufficiently reach out to its neighbors." Really, that last complaint just sounds like a local ANC member with a grudge.

The ABRA's final ruling in Big Bear's favor has all the details, and actually made for a pretty interesting read.
There are certainly some concessions on the part of Big Bear...sidewalk entertainment will cease at 9pm, and inside music will cease at 11pm Mon-Sat and 10pm on Sundays. And Big Bear won't be able to stay open as late as they'd like....they originally proposed 1am closing on weekdays and 2am on weekends. The ABRA ruling states that instead hours of operation will be through 11pm during the week and 12am on weekends.

I'm thrilled to see this license passed as I think it will greatly improve the economic viability of Big Bear Cafe, a restaurant whose presence improves both Bloomingdale's safety and its quality of life.

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