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C.P. undecided on night club

PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2005 1:24 am
by Big Dog
C.P. undecided on night club

CROWN POINT | City officials had mixed emotions Monday about whether to give their blessing to an entertainment group hoping to open a night club in a Crown Point building.

After listening to concerns from other property owners in the plaza in the 1400 block of East Joliet Street, the Board of Zoning Appeals voted to send J & J Entertainment's request for a special use to the City Council on Dec. 5 with no recommendation.

"All of these entities seem to be against this petition," chairman Vernon Segert said. "I have a concern with that."

Those against the proposed night club include Rick Niemeyer, president of the South Lake County Community Services board, and Center Township Trustee Eldon Strong. In letters to the zoning board, both said they didn't think the use was appropriate. Another absentee owner wrote he was worried clubgoers would use the building's parking lot as a sanitation device.

Kevin Brunski, a dentist in the building, said J & J has good intentions but that he wanted assurances the night club won't harm his business.

"Is there a guarantee that there won't be a beer bottle through my window?" he asked.

But Scott Ristenpart, vice president of J & J, told the board a night club is not the intended long-term use for the 7,000-square-foot site. The plan is to open a night club and use the venue to train staff, who will eventually work in a members-only lounge on the second floor of a proposed bar and restaurant at 10550 and 10570 Broadway. Eventually, the night club could become a Pepe's Mexican Restaurant, a Gelsosomo's Pizzeria or another franchise restaurant.

In the meantime, it would only be open from 8 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with a capacity of around 400 people. Ron Burget, president of J & J, said he's already in the process of hiring off-duty Illinois State Police and local security.

Burget said he didn't understand the comments from people not wanting a bar at the location, considering the site already has a liquor license.

Zoning board member Paul Keller, who unsuccessfully supported giving the project a favorable recommendation, asked where else this project could go in the city. The proposal matches the mixed use suggested for the area in the master plan, he said.

"A restaurant in that area would be a good idea," he said.