Advocate for taverns argues against valet-parking ban

valet parking
Valet parking illustration Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The head of a group that represents Chicago taverns says a proposed ordinance to eliminate valet parking at bars is the wrong approach to keep intoxicated patrons off the roads.

Ald. Brendan Reilly of the 42nd Ward, which includes the River North entertainment district, has said valet parking is a bad idea at bars. He says it makes it easier for some customers to drive to bars, have too much to drink and then get back behind the wheel.

But Pat Doerr, managing director of the Hospitality Business Association of Chicago, said most bars with valet parking handle it responsibly.

Doerr said the city already has procedures in place to target bars where valet parking IS a problem.

“Bad actors don’t help anyone,” he said Friday. “It’s a black eye for the industry, it’s a problem for the neighborhood.”

He says a blanket ban would unfairly hurt responsible bar owners, especially as they are still recovering from the financial losses they had during the pandemic.