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Rock Island bars, restaurants to close at 2 a.m., effective immediately

Mayor Mike Thoms said the decision stems from Rock Island wanting to be a regional player with the rest of the Quad Cities, where bars and restaurants already close at 2 a.m.
Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 6:53 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - The City of Rock Island announced it is now requiring all bars and restaurants located in city limits to close at 2 a.m., effective immediately.

The requirement went into effect on Wednesday. Mayor Mike Thoms, who is also the city’s liquor commissioner, said the decision stems from Rock Island wanting to be a regional player with the rest of the Quad Cities, where bars and restaurants already close at 2 a.m.

“Beyond my duties as Mayor, I am also the City’s Liquor Commissioner. This action has been on the table before and we feel it’s time to be in lockstep with the rest of the Quad Cities,” Thoms said.

Thoms cited growing concerns of COVID-19 as well as large crowds that tend to gather after the hours of 2 a.m. as other factors in the City’s decision.

“When I got looking at some videos of last weekend, we have cameras in the district, when I got looking at some videos there was a large crowd. Which is great, but there was not good social distancing,” Thoms said.

The city will also close several downtown streets during that time to provide more space for gathering areas to aid in social distancing.

When asked by TV6 if crime played a role in the decision, Mayor Thoms said it was not the main factor.

“Crime can happen just about anywhere, any place. It could be in Rock Island, it could be Moline, Davenport, noon, 8:00. You can’t always predict when and where,” he said,

This change will last for the next 30 days. To extend beyond that, the city council would have to vote. Mayor Thoms said the July 27 council meeting will include an agenda item.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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