PedalPub Chicago Sues City Over Rejected Business License

07/21/2011 12:29 pm ET | Updated Sep 20, 2011

A popular Minnesota-based bike-powered pub crawl company looking to expand into the Chicago market has run into more than its fair share of difficulties in attempting to navigate the city's red tape.

On Monday, PedalPub Chicago, a company which provides a 16-seat human pedaling-powered bicycle to transport its passengers from bar to bar on one of three approved routes, filed a petition asking the Cook County Circuit Court to overturn its decision to deny them a business permit, according to WLS.

At issue, reportedly, is the city's designation of the PedalPub bike as a vehicle used for sightseeing tours. City code requires that such vehicles are powered by a motor, disqualifying PedalPub from being licensed as a public passenger vehicle.

But PedalPub owner Al Boyce feels the city has wrong assessed his company's activities.

"We’re not giving sightseeing tours, we’re saying rent us and drive our 16-person 'bicycle' around town," Boyce told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The company is currently offering free bar crawls from Fulton Market, where its large, vehicle (complete with cabana and keg) is stored, to bars throughout the Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park areas, NBC Chicago reported. The company's city manager, Matt Graham, said he hoped the city would "take a look at our true model."

"The requirements don’t demand that we change the bikes. They need to see it from my prospective. The last thing we wanted to do was involve lawyers, frankly," Graham told NBC Chicago. "We would have loved to drop this case yesterday. We just don't want to squander the entire season."

The city's legal department has not yet commented publicly on PedalPub's lawsuit.

PedalPub reportedly operates out of 13 cities throughout the country. Its unique vehicle was originally created and manufactured in the Netherlands under a name that translated to "Bike Café," according to the company's website.