Rooftops OKd for concerts, NU game

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter

With the Cubs and the economy in the tank, it’s been a rough year for rooftop clubs overlooking Wrigley Field.

Now, the private clubs that share 17 percent of their gross revenues with the team will have three more dates to recoup their investment.

The City Council’s License Committee on Thursday authorized rooftops now permitted to sell food and liquor only on “game days” to do the same for a pair of weekend concerts by the Dave Matthews Band and for a college football game between Illinois and Northwestern.

Big Ten rivals Illinois and Northwestern meet on Nov. 20. It will be the first college football game held at Wrigley since 1938, when DePaul still had a football team and played its home games there.

The concerts will be held on Sept. 17 and 18, coinciding with Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar.

To minimize the conflict, the Cubs have agreed to push back the start of the Saturday night concert until after sundown, when Yom Kippur ends. Worshippers will also be free to park in remote lots owned by the Cubs and ride shuttle buses to temple services.

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), whose ward includes Wrigley Field, predicted that the Illinois-Northwestern game would be a big hit with rooftop patrons. So could the sold-out concerts, provided the stage is positioned well enough to allow band members to be seen from the rooftops, he said.

“It’s been a rough year for attendance. The surrounding businesses are hurting. This is a chance to make up for some lost seasonal revenue,” Tunney said.

Also on Wednesday, the License Committee agreed to require so-called “second-hand dealers” that pay cash for old jewelry to follow the same rigid reporting requirements as pawn shops.

Secondhand property would have to be “kept intact” for inspection by city officials for at least 30 days. The names and drivers license numbers of those selling the jewelry would have to be maintained.

The crackdown is aimed at preventing stolen gold jewelry from being melted down, leaving the rightful owner with no way to trace it. That’­s a growing problem with rising price of gold, according to police officials.

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