DeKalb City Council puts Glidden Crossing bar plan on hold again

DeKALB – The proposed restaurant, bar and video gambling establishment
in Glidden Crossing has been put on hold by the DeKalb City Council to allow city staff to determine what concessions might be agreeable to the restaurant group.

Mike Thiessen of Blackhawk Restaurant Group discussed Penny’s, the business he proposes to open in the shopping center at Annie Glidden and Malta roads.

“We do not intend to serve hard liquor; we serve beer and wine only and we have a three drink maximum,” Thiessen said.

“We’ll have three video gaming machines, and gaming will be about 32 percent of our net revenue,” he said.

“In any other community, we would be opening a restaurant. In DeKalb, we need to apply for a bar or tavern license to have the video gaming,” Thiessen said.

He said the company’s business model receives the largest percentage of its income from food sales, then coffee and soft drinks, gaming and finally alcohol. The 2,000-square-foot storefront is located between Goodwill and Davita Dialysis.

Several residents expressed their displeasure at the potential amendment to the 2006 annexation agreement. Concerns were voiced about video gambling, alcohol sales, hours of operation and patrons smoking outside the establishment.

“We think you would be voting to lower your own standards for tenants on that property,” said Greg Prater, a resident of Overlook Pointe, the residential subdivision that abuts the shopping center.

He presented petitions signed by about 60 residents of the area asking that the council deny the request to amend the annexation agreement.

Sixth Ward Alderman Dave Baker said he understands that the initial agreement did not allow for alcohol sales, but at the time, video gambling also was not a consideration.

Third Ward Alderwoman Kristen Lash said video gambling is the sticking point for her.

After Mayor John Rey closed the hour-long public hearing, City Attorney Dean Frieders suggested that staff talk with the applicant to determine what restrictions they would be willing to accept.

With no potential action on the agenda, Frieders suggested, “Because of the detailed feedback we received tonight, maybe if we come back with more of a menu of options, or if they decide they don’t want to pursue the site, it might better serve the council.”