March 29 meeting set on Patio Theater liquor plan
by BRIAN NADIG
A community meeting on a plan to serve alcohol at the Patio Theater will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, at the theater, 6008 W. Irving Park Road.
Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) said that he will not make a decision on the proposal until after the residents give their opinions at the meeting but that he has several concerns, including “trust issues” with the theater’s management company, the Portage Theater Group.
Sposato said that the operators of the theater did not inform his office before they filed an application for an incidental liquor license.
Sposato said that the management group also should creating a parking plan, including a plan to lease nearby lots, due to the large crowds that could attend shows at the 1,500-seat theater. The 89-year-old theater does not have a parking lot.
Sposato said that even if he objects to the proposal, the decision is not his to make. “You just don’t know how the liquor commissioner will go on this,” he said.
Last year the theater operated without a public place of amusement license, which is required for entertainment venues, for several months.
The management also operates the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave., where liquor is served. Alderman John arena (45th) expressed concerns about safety last fall after a shooting occurred near the theater following a concert there.