Any Alton Liquor License Owner Could Face Similar Fate

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How Reasonable Are Alton Mayor's Actions? Was Bottle & Barrel Action Orchestrated?

Interior view of Chris Keidel's Bottle & Barrel which received a 15 day closure notice from the City of Alton because of the action of a private party patron.
Interior view of Chris Keidel's Bottle & Barrel which received a 15 day closure notice from the City of Alton because of the action of a private party patron.

Chris Keidel, owner and proprietor of Bottle & Barrel at 554 E. Broadway in Alton, is being made to close his business down for 15 consecutive days between Nov. 26 and  Dec.

10 and additionally pay a $500 fine as a penalty from the city of Alton. Keidel formerly ran the Big Muddy Pub but moved due to constant flooding in the downtown Alton area and being just one of several bars in the immediate vicinity. His new establishment is Bottle and Barrel, reopened 554 E. Broadway, which previously housed Shakers.

Keidel's problems began on October 21st of this year when he rented the location for a private party. At some point a female patron bared her breasts and a video was recorded of the event. According to sources who wished to remain anonymous, Cynthia. M. Ellis, the current Madison County spokesperson as well as being the Telegraph's Editor and Senior Writer for Flair; posted the video to Facebook. According to a source familiar with both parties, Ellis told Keidel he was going to be "collateral damage" when he asked why she was doing what she did. There is other information coming from those that know and have worked with Ellis that may eventually shed light on her motive.

The actions visible on the video was used as a reason by the Alton Mayor, as head of the liquor commission, to impose a 15 day closure of Keidel's business. The closure is problematic in that the precedent it sets could allow anyone to shut down an establishment setting up and arranging an act that would result in suspension of their liquor license with little recourse. Was the act arranged? Is Keidel responsible for the act of a patron that was clearly in bad taste and would have subjected the person doing the act to a citation and likely fine? Was the person that committed the act cited? 

A 15-day closure for Keidel's small business creates an enormous financial loss, estimated at $7,000 to $8,000; large enough that Bottle & Barrel may not be able to reopen again. The financial loss to the employees who will lose over two weeks wages is also considerable with several employees being laid off already. The potential closure of this business will also create a loss of tax revenue for the city with the possibility of another empty building in Alton's Broadway and Henry commercial district.

Tonight and this weekend is your chance to do something positive and make a statement regarding Keidel's predicament. Meet your friends at Bottle & Barrel, 554 East Broadway this evening from 6pm and onward to help B&B owner Chris Keidel keep his business from closing permanently. Stop by for one quick cocktail or stay the evening while enjoying the music of Erin Jo Paddlefoot and other musical guests. 

A Gofundme account has been created for those of you that want to contribute.

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