Chicago Taverns Require Small Business Legal Representation

The recent closing of several local Chicago neighborhood bars and taverns shows that city officials are putting the squeeze on these local and often long-running businesses.

In many cases, liquor law licensing and zoning issues require the skills of a Chicago small business attorney, who can assist in helping these companies stay afloat despite political pressure. Chicago small businesses may also need legal representation when handling Chicago real estate issues. Whether zoning or the sale and purchase of real property, a small business' location and contract to lease, rent or purchase must be iron-clad.

A recent Chicago Sun-Times article reports that local neighborhood taverns -- once considered the lynchpins of many Chicago communities -- have been going out of business. The newspaper reports that old standbys Johnnie's Lounge, Paulie's Place and MaxTavern have all closed in recent years.

For generations, these small businesses were representative of the many ethnic communities throughout the city. Then, many factors such as the economy, a change in preference as well as city regulations and other difficulties have led to problems. Gentrification -- where wealthier landlords buy up properties and fight against small businesses located within -- has also been one of the final nails in the coffin of these neighborhood hubs.

Some bar owners believe that today, bars and clubs are catering to 20- or 30-year-olds who want a different atmosphere than in years past. The older taverns were about camaraderie and a sense of the neighborhood. Now, many modern bars are located in entertainment districts.

Opening a new tavern can be difficult. Liquor license moratoriums can be put in place in local neighborhoods and buyers must purchase the entity that owns the existing tavern and license, the newspaper reports.

Whether opening a new tavern or attempting to keep alive an existing business that has been around for generations, a Chicago small business lawyer can be helpful. The legal hurdles provided at the city level are one issue. You also need to consider that making the right funding, real estate and personnel decisions can be challenging.

Any small business can have a difficult time settling real estate issues, especially if there are zoning guidelines that must be handled as well. As the character of a community transforms, especially as properties change hands in the battered economy, these issues can be even more prevalent. When the culture of neighborhoods morph, so do the needs and desires of property owners.

When small businesses are attempting to start up and find a permanent home, the right location isn't always the one with the most traffic. Often, a good location for the company also depends on the neighborhood and the level of community resistance.

In any situation, picking the right location and dealing with the contractual issues, possible sales and purchases and other real estate issues is important to getting off to a good start as a small company. An experienced Chicago small business attorney can help in these situations and more.

Jeremy A. Gibson & Associates is a law firm dedicated to business litigation in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois. Call 877-452-4529 for a free consultation.

Additional Resources:

Neighborhood taverns drying up across Chicago, by Judy Keen, Chicago Sun-Times