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Wed Aug 21, 2019, 03:36 AM

Change In Policies On Main Street St. Charles Reduces Violence. But Business For Bars Is Down, Too

Friday and Saturday nights don’t draw nearly as many people to St. Charles’ North Main Street as they did a year or so ago.

Eric Sohn, general manager of Quintessential Dining and Nightlife, said he used to have two DJs on weekends, one for each of the building’s floors. On a Friday night in August, there was only one DJ at work. Also, five bartenders were covering on that evening; last summer, he needed eight on weekends.

“The main thing down here right now is that the crowds are just a lot smaller,” Sohn said. “This time last year, you’d have 3,000 people down here on a Friday. And tonight, between all the bars, there’s maybe 500 or 600 people down here.”

Last fall, after a few well-publicized incidents drew attention to crime in the area, the St. Charles City Council passed a new liquor ordinance that went into effect in January. It includes special requirements for establishments in the Historic Downtown District, which includes the three blocks of North Main Street. While crime in the area has dropped since the new rules came into effect, bar owners say they're unfair to businesses on North Main Street and eating into their bottom lines.


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