Cubs owners face legal hurdle on naming rights to Wrigley plaza pub

The state agency that regulates alcohol sales today threw a wrench in the plan by the owners of the Chicago Cubs to name a new bar outside Wrigley Field after beer giant Budweiser.

Seeking more time and input to discuss the issue, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission today tabled a proposal until next month to debut the “Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern” on the ground floor of the Cubs’ new office building next to the stadium.

Hickory Street Capital, a venture of the Cubs-owning Ricketts family that owns and has developed the plaza adjacent to the park, has struck an 11-year-deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev for naming rights to the new pub that will open June 27.

But putting the name of a beer brand on a standalone tavern outside the confines of an entertainment venue raises questions about whether it would constitute a so-called “tied house,” under which a brewer would illegally control the brands a retailer sells.

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