Responsible Hospitality

Wine Glasses

Best Practices for Liquor Licensees (rev: 9/12/22)

River North is a dynamic, mixed-use neighborhood with a large residential community as well as a high concentration of bars, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality businesses. These elements create a vibrant urban environment, but also the potential for conflict. RNRA supports responsibly managed hospitality venues and encourages good corporate citizenship.

Subject Practice
Third Party Promoters Limit the use of third-party event promoters and remember that your reputation is in their hands.  Ensure that marketing and advertising are designed to attract patrons who will conduct themselves properly in your establishment and respect the surrounding community.
Servers and Security Staff Select servers and security staff carefully, deploy enough 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.
Valet Parking 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.
Technology 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.
Call 911 Train all staff members to be vigilant, 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.
Promotions The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had a devastating economic impact, from which River North’s hospitality sector has not yet completely recovered. We understand the motivation to reduce prices, but operators must be very careful about promotions and special offers that are likely to attract unruly patrons and result in intoxication, uncontrollable crowds, or violence.
Parties Be very careful about parties and large events. Operators 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.
Exterior of Establishment 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, ride-shares, and taxicabs.
Crowd Control 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.
Community Relationships Get to know your beat officers, local community and homeowners association leaders and neighboring businesses. Attend CAPS Hospitality and Beat meetings and support local charitable events and community programs whenever possible.
Weapons Prohibit the carrying of firearms or other weapons onto the property, other than by licensed law enforcement professionals, and enforce this policy by any means necessary. If individuals are barred entry for possession of weapons or other potentially dangerous behavior, notify the Police and other area establishments and provide a physical description.
Bottle Service Carefully consider whether, and under what circumstances, "bottle service" should be offered to the patrons of your establishment. This practice significantly reduces the ability of your servers and staff to monitor intoxication and prevent over-serving, which is an essential responsibility of liquor licensees.
Bottom Line Conduct business as though you live next door.

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