A Study of Chicago Outdoor Bar Licenses

Chicago Bar LicenseSo we have gone over a bit that you will often have to deal with regulations for your outdoor bar furniture. But what about the alcohol licenses themselves? That is a different story. So we are going to use Chicago as an example. If anywhere is a big drinking town, it is there. They also have some very elaborate guidelines on what you can serve and how. So how does this relate to decorating? You need to cater it to the style of drinks you are pouring. We are going to give you some ideas there as well.

We’ll start with the Tavern license. Bars, nightclubs, lounges and those that would be serving harder liquors need this kind of license. Those drinking there must be 21 years or older. To enter you must at least have a guardian. Many of you may own one like this and you will need the largest amount of inspections and restrictions. Everything from multiple inspections to a criminal history review are going to be part of the package. It can also be quite expensive. Decorating one of these establishments really depends on the clientele and it can be anything from a dance club to a sports bar.

Packaged Goods Licenses are needed for most stores. Many stores like that do not put much thought into outdoor furniture but having a nice bench and table to relax on is good for employees and customers. This one is easier to get but you will still have quite a few checks and fees to pay.

The consumption on Premises-Incidental Activity License is for standard restaurants, bowling alleys and theaters. These too need a COP license but not as many licenses as some of the others. You will still have a lot of checks as well. A comfortable style of outdoor furniture fits with establishments like this so be sure to match it up.

Another several settings are for Caterer’s and Late Hours for businesses. Each one has some limited checks but still significant fees for you to deal with. You may think that you do not need a license but that is rarely true except in some of the smallest towns in any country. Even then it is usually only due to the fact that law enforcement would have too much trouble dealing with the setup.

These specific instructions get even more ridiculous with very specific situations. Restaurants with an outdoor patio that serves drinks need a special license and additional building permits. The same goes for Navy Piers and Club-Wrigley Rooftop servers. No matter what your situation is there is probably some sort of tax or license that you need to have in order to set everything up correctly.

So what can you learn from this? Decorate your outdoor furniture with specificity just as you check your individual situation for what you need. Focus is important and attention to detail makes or breaks many establishments. The devil is in the details so keep your eye on everything to stay safe.


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