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City takes another swing at more quickly breaking Bottled Blonde

Bottled Blonde at 504 N. Wells St. | Mitchell Armentrout/Sun-Times

A fresh effort by the city is underway to shut down a River North restaurant that neighbors have long complained behaves more like a night club and is the source of obnoxious noise, and urine that appears on nearby sidewalks.

Last November the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) successfully moved to revoke the liquor license of Bottled Blonde, but the business has been allowed to remain open and continue to serve alcohol as the appeals process plays out.

However, the appeals process could take months.

To get quicker results, the city has whacked Bottled Blonde with another set of violations.

“If these new charges are sustained, and a suspension or revocation is imposed, Bottled Blonde would not be allowed to operate during the appeal process,” said Lilia A. Chacon, a Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection spokeswoman.

Since opening in 2015 at 504 N. Wells St., the restaurant has drawn the ire of neighbors.

A status hearing on the new violations was set for Feb. 20 before an administrative hearings officer.

The latest violations include more allegations of “nuisance behavior” including public urination and vomiting, noise, loitering and littering.

“My client is trying to be a good neighbor in this mixed use neighborhood while at the same time operate a business where they employ 100 people and have made a significant investment in the area,” Bottled Blonde attorney Jeannie Gallucci said.

“It’s complex because this is the downtown business district but it’s also residential. But we welcome the opportunity to meet with the neighbors and come up with resolutions,” she said.

One of the city’s main legal arguments the first time they successfully sought a liquor license revocation: the majority of Bottled Blonde’s money was made from alcohol sales, breaking an agreement with the city that required most proceeds be made from selling food.

Neighbors aren’t picky about which legal maneuver the city utilizes, as long as it brings the preferred result, said a neighbor who lives across the street and asked not to be identified.

“We just want to be able to sleep through the night. However we get there, we get there,” he said.