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Liquor license requirements change for Main Street St. Charles restaurants, bars

Local leaders are hopeful the move will bring higher-end, drink-focused bars.

ST CHARLES, Mo. — Bars and restaurants on Main Street in St. Charles are no longer required to follow the 50/50 rule. The 50/50 rule stated alcohol can’t make up more than half of total revenue for bars and restaurants.

Amy Wilson, owner of Framations Custom Framing and Art Gallery, said she’s not happy leaders change the requirements for liquor licenses along Main Street.

“I love being here on Main Street,” Wilson said. “You can’t ask for a better family-oriented environment in the daytime.”

Her shop is open during daytime hours. But she said her shop is frequently the victim of rowdy, late-night behavior.

“Whether it’s coming in and cleaning puke up off of my front porch (in the mornings),” Wilson sarcastically said. “The pee on the back porch is always lovely.”

Just a few months ago someone shot her front windows.

“A few thousand dollars in damaged windows this year,” Wilson said. “We had to re-tint the windows for the artwork. It was also the window with custom-made signage.”

She has concerns about future restaurants and drink-focused bars moving into the area.

“This is not supposed to be a high usage district for major crowds,” Wilson said. 

She hopes it remains a family-oriented entertainment district with a small-town, historic feel.

"Nobody commits a crime because they didn't eat a cheeseburger," Mayor Dan Borgmeyer, St. Charles said. "Is there going to be an occasional fight? yes. Occasional bad actor? yes. But we handle those on an individual basis, they don’t have anything to do with food."

Mayor Borgmeyer and St. Charles Police said law enforcement maintains a presence on the street and inside of bars and restaurants to monitor crowds.

"Every bar gets checked one, two, three, sometimes four times a night,” the mayor said. “Police walk through and check for minors in possession, check for loud music and everything else."

The Liquor Commission polices liquor licenses on a point system. The more infractions or disturbances a business is cited for, the more appoints accrued on the liquor license. It’s capped at 12 points the mayor said.

Mayor Borgmeyer said the changes allow them to brew more economic opportunities. He said high-end drinking establishments passed on investing in the area due to the 50/50 rule on the liquor license. The mayor hopes other high-end establishments focused on drinks reconsider setting up shop in the area.

He also said estimates to audit the 13 bars and restaurants within the five-block area could cost the city up to $500,000 a year according to Mayor Borgmeyer.

He said changes to the liquor license is only the beginning of expanding economic promise in the area. Next, leaders will take a closer look at zoning and noise codes.

The mayor said he’s looking to make sure live music is contained within the four walls of any given establishment.

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