Liquor Commission holds vote on safety issues at new Naperville Convention Center – Chicago Tribune

Representatives of a new multicultural restaurant, banquet, entertainment and convention center being built in Naperville must detail their safety protocols before the city’s Liquor Commission approves any liquor licenses, advisory committee members say .

The commission this week filed a vote through May 5 on the three liquor licenses sought by senior partner Madan Kulkarni from The Matrix Club banquet hall and The Matrix Room restaurant at 808 S. Route 59, including the opening is scheduled for this summer.

Mayor Steve Chirico said the success of the new site is important and “I just want to make sure we’re doing it right”.

Along with written plans that address security inside and out, curators said they’d like to see lists of upcoming events, artists the installation will feature, rules about where where the alcohol is served and the backup strategy if security personnel hired by the music promoter do not show up to work at the event.

Kulkarni said the Matrix security person begins the first week of May and will work with Naperville Police to provide security for a larger event.

Commissioner Mitch Stauffer said he was reluctant to take action because he needed more information and wanted to visit the site first. “I’m not on board yet,” Stauffer said.

A restaurant and tavern license is required for The Matrix Room, a 4,500 square foot international fusion restaurant, bar and music lounge that seats 220 people. Kulkarni is also seeking companion permits for shows and serving alcohol after 11 p.m.

Two more licenses would be required for the 20,500 square foot convention space which can be configured for weddings, banquets, social events and live music and theater performances.

One of those licenses would be for the service of alcohol at catered events, and the other for alcohol served at concerts and theater performances when food is not being served.

The banquet and convention hall will accommodate up to 1,200 people for gatherings with tables and up to 2,000 for concerts.

The curators asked Kulkarni how security would be handled, especially during and after concerts.

Stauffer said what he didn’t want was for the venue to become a nightclub with a DJ for young adults in their early 20s.

“Naperville is a family-oriented community, and I want that to continue,” Stauffer said.

Kulkarni estimated that 80% of its business in the convention space would come from weddings, style shows, and social and corporate events, with the remaining 20% ​​coming from concerts by pop stars and bands around the world.

In addition to a theater license, which only allows the sale of beer and wine, Kulkarni requires a permit to add spirits.

Commissioner Joe Vozar wondered if giving the Matrix Club permission would mean the other two venues with theater licenses — Wentz Concert Hall on the North Central College campus and Center Stage Theater on Quincy Avenue — would be asking the same.

The commissioners also bristled at the request to offer a bottle service, which consists of providing customers with an open bottle of spirits with glasses and self-service mixers at the tables and in the VIP areas.

Kulkarni said open bottles at the table aren’t necessary for all events.

“What we ask is only for specific events, if they get permission for people who insist on bottle service,” like at Greek concerts, Kulkarni said.

“I think we are doing everything in our power to make sure there is adequate supervision,” he added.

Bottle service is not permitted under the liquor code and would require approval from the Naperville City Council in addition to a recommendation from the liquor commission.

Commissioner Scott Wehrli said allowing patrons to pour what they want to whomever they want takes away control of the venue and the city.

His other concern was that if Naperville granted bottle-to-table service permission to The Matrix, the city could expect to see a “queue” of establishments making the same request.

Commissioner Kimberly White said a visit provided her with a better perspective of the place, and White and Christine Jeffries, president of the Naperville Development Partnership, urged other commission members to visit as well.

“This place is so upscale, it’s amazing,” Jeffries said. “This is the most amazing venue we have ever had in the city.”

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Aurora J. William