Responsible Hospitality

Best Practices for Liquor Licensees (rev: 5/3/22)

River North is a dynamic, mixed-use neighborhood with a large and growing residential community as well as a high concentration of bars, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality businesses. These elements create a vibrant and stimulating urban environment, but also the potential for conflict. Peaceful coexistence depends upon the responsible behavior of the management and staff of local establishments, and the reasonable expectations of neighboring residents and businesses. RNRA supports local hospitality venues and encourages good corporate citizenship.

  1. Limit the use of third-party event promoters and remember that your reputation is in their hands.  Similarly, ensure that marketing and advertising are designed to attract the type of patrons that will conduct themselves properly in your establishment and respect the surrounding community.
  2. Select servers and security staff carefully, deploy a sufficient number for each day and shift, and train them to be prepared for what they’re likely to encounter in your establishment. Instruct door staff to discourage patrons from engaging in loud or disruptive behavior when coming and going and prohibit anyone from leaving with glass containers or alcoholic beverages.
  3. If you offer valet parking, choose a high-quality firm that employs well-trained, professional personnel and has access to adequate off-street parking. Ensure that the number of hikers necessary to handle vehicles quickly and efficiently are deployed for each day and shift.
  4. Leverage technology wherever possible to enable appropriate external lighting, crowd control, surveilance, communication, ID verification and noise control. If possible, consider participating in the OEMC Private Sector Camera Initiative.
  5. Train all staff members to be vigilent, to call 911 from a house phone in the event of problems and to log each call. This reduces your liability in the event of subsequent investigations or litigation.
  6. Be very careful about parties, promotions and/or special offers that are likely to result in intoxicated customers. Remember, you have the right to refuse entry to groups disembarking “Party Buses” that have failed to contract with your management team for use of your venue. Notify Police, local community associations and neighboring residential properties in advance about events that may impact the neighborhood.
  7. Keep the area outside of your establishment clean and be proactive about limiting external and through-wall noise after 10:00 pm, including noise caused by DJs, entertainers, entering and exiting patrons, valet hikers, bouncers and taxicabs.
  8. Develop and execute a thoughtful plan to safely manage crowds before, during and after closing time and post conspicuous signs asking patrons to respect your neighbors and avoid littering, loitering and noise as they enter and leave. Utilize cabs, ride sharing services and public transportation as necessary to maximize safety. Take proactive steps to avoid vehicular congestion that could interfere with local traffic and/or impede access by emergency vehicles.
  9. Get to know your beat officers, local community and homeowners association leaders and neighboring businesses. Attend CAPS meetings (Hospitality and Residents) and support charitable events and community programs whenever possible.
  10. Conduct business as though you live next door.

Click here to download a PDF version.

For any questions or concerns about responsible hospitality in River North, please email us at publicsafety@RNRAchicago.org or plan to attend one of our Public Safety Committee meetings. For more information on PSC meetings, please see the Public Safety Meetings page.