The bars in Rock Island will stay open to 3 a.m., at least for the time being. Rock Island's City Council did not have enough votes Monday night to enforce a new 2 a.m. closing time.
Mayor Mike Thoms ordered the bars closed at 2 a.m. earlier this month in an emergency declaration, but that order ends next week.
The failed vote came as a relief for bar owners in Rock Island’s The District who said they rely on the extra hour of business.
“I want you to support the businesses in Rock Island. I want you to support the property owners. If you don’t, I don’t disagree with some people. I don’t think there will be many businesses left down here in the arts and entertainment district,” Terry Tilka told the city council. “It’s a tough decision for everybody but taking away that last hour, you’re going to kill these guys. and that’s going to include me.”
Chris Michaels, who owns Billy Bob’s told KWQC-TV after the city council vote “We make half of our sales between 12:30 and 2:30 when we call last call,”
Thoms is likely to try again to force an earlier closing time. He expects to talk about the issue at August 24th's city council meeting.
(Photo: KWQC-TV 6)