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Homer Glen denies video gambling cafe

Updated: September 16, 2014 6:24AM



Homer Glen trustees have rejected plans for a Betty’s Bistro, a cafe that would offer video gambling and be targeted to women.

The village board voted 5-1 Tuesday night against the Blackhawk Restaurant Group’s proposal for the establishment, 14142 Bell Road, saying it did not meet the village’s description of a restaurant with food prepared on site with a full menu.

Homer Glen recently revised its liquor ordinance to require that any business with a liquor license must occupy at least 1,500 square feet, have food prepared and served on the premises and offer a full menu.

Under Illinois law, any business that wants to offer video gambling must have a liquor license.

While Betty’s Bistro would lease a 1,764-square-foot space, it was offering only light sandwiches and salads that mostly were pre-made, which did not meet the village definition of a restaurant, according to Homer Glen officials.

A representative of Blackhawk argued that employees would add fresh items to the salads and sandwiches, which arrive at the restaurant partially cooked, and that the business complies with the village’s health and sanitary codes.

Betty’s Bistro has cafes with video gambling nearby in Lockport, Lemont, Joliet and Westmont.

In another matter, trustees decided to have the village delay enforcement of outdoor parking of recreational vehicles and boats so the board’s public services and safety committee can review the existing ordinance.

In June, the village board set a Sept. 1 deadline for owners of boats, campers and commercial vehicles to comply with the ordinance or be ticketed.

The existing ordinance requires such vehicles parked outdoors to be on pavement in a fenced area or one screened by landscaping to conceal the vehicles from adjacent property and the street.

Homer Glen this summer mailed letters to about 230 residents who were found in violation of the ordinance. That led to many of those residents contacting the village with questions and concerns about the ordinance, according to village officials.

After meeting with boat and RV owners this month, the public services and safety committee recommended to the full board that the village delay enforcement of the ordinance until March 1 to allow time to possibly amend it and for residents to take measures to be able to comply with it.



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