It’s bottoms up earlier in Sycamore under newly updated liquor laws

Council members discuss liquor laws unique to Sundays, holidays, events

Sycamore Mayor Steve Braser and 3rd Ward Alderperson Ben Bumpus talk before the start of the July 17, 2023 Sycamore City Council meeting.

SYCAMORE – The city of Sycamore this week amended its liquor laws to allow for liquor to be sold earlier in the mornings during weekends where events, holidays or festivals occur.

The Sycamore City Council this week approved revisions to the city’s liquor control laws for holidays and codified city events, such as the Fizz Ehrler Memorial Turning Back Time Car Show and Pumpkin Fest.

According to a city ordinance that was approved 7-0, any business with a liquor license will allowed to sell alcohol beginning at 9 a.m. on Sundays during the weekends of the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival and the Fizz Ehrler Memorial Turning Back time Car Show.

Additionally, Sycamore Class D and Class F licensees – liquor licenses that require the product to be consumed off premises – are now allowed to sell liquor from 8 a.m. until midnight on Sundays, when New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day occur on a Sunday. On normal Sundays any liquor license holder can serve or sell liquor as defined by their license between 10 a.m. and midnight.

“Really what it does, is it changes those normal hours – normal hours are from 10 a.m. to midnight – and this allows the liquor license during the two codified events to be one hour earlier and then two hours earlier for the listed holidays,” Sycamore City Manager Michael Hall said.

Hall said the changes were requested by Mayor Steve Braser.

Braser said liquor license holders have asked the city to make the change for years. The ordinance amendment was approved less than two weeks before the Fizz Ehrler Memorial Turning Back Time Car Show is expected to bring throngs of people downtown during the last weekend of July.

“You know, the cars start arriving for the auto show at six o’clock in the morning, and I said as long as you serve food with it we’re fine with it. It’s not going to be the liquor stores that will be open, but the places that serve food. But then again, at Pumpkin Festival people arrive early and it gives them a place to go,” Braser said.

According to city documents, all places where alcoholic liquor is served must be closed between midnight and 6 a.m., except on Friday and Saturday nights when liquor may be sold until 2 a.m. Saturday morning or Sunday morning. On Sunday, however, all liquor licensees cannot serve alcohol until 10 a.m. or after midnight.

During Monday’s City Council meeting, 4th Ward Alderperson Ben Bumpus asked why there were liquor laws specific to Sunday.

“Because it’s a Sunday. They’re Sundays. Sundays it used to be noon, right on Sundays. If you went to the Jewel [Osco] on Sunday morning, the liquor things were always closed up,” 3rd Ward Alderperson Nancy Copple said.

Bumpus maintained his question after Copple’s comments, and Braser said he was in agreement with him.

“We can look at all the codes and kind of do this a step at a time and then see how this goes. I mean, they’ve [liquor license holders] requested it for quite awhile and this year I actually contacted them and they said ‘Oh yeah, if you could that, that would be great,’” Braser said.

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