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Flossmoor nixes license request for proposed restaurant with gambling plans

A split village board Monday rejected the latest proposal for a restaurant/bar in Flossmoor that would include video gambling machines.

Trustees were divided, with three voting in favor of a liquor license for Lucky Dog, a chain of restaurants, bars, convenience stores, coin-operated laundries and truck stops throughout the Midwest. Three other trustees were against the proposal and Mayor Paul Braun broke the deadlock by voting against the liquor license.

Illinois permits gambling machines in bars, fraternal organizations and truck stops that have liquor licenses. Flossmoor allows such gambling but for the last two years has rejected several requests for liquor licenses at cafe-style establishments that are set up solely as venues for slot and poker machines. Those establishments have become increasingly common in a number of south suburban communities.

Paul McCaffrey, the business development manager at CL Quick Stop, told the board that the Lucky Dog bar and restaurant would make only a small portion of its income from gambling machines. The bulk of sales at the establishment ― planned for the Family Video plaza at Flossmoor Road and Crawford Avenue ― would come from food and liquor sales, he said.


The restaurant would have a seating area, kitchen and amenities such as a three-sided fireplace, McCaffrey said. It would have a full menu and wide selection of craft beers with hours between 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. There would always be a minimum of three employees in the establishment at all times, he said.

McCaffrey added that Lucky Dog wanted to put a six-foot statue of a chicken on the roof of the restaurant.

Braun said Flossmoor has a longstanding policy of opposing liquor licenses for establishments just so they can offer video gambling. He asked McCaffrey if Lucky Dog would consider the restaurant without video gambling.

“I’d have to talk to the owners,” McCaffrey said. “But probably not.”

The proposal received some positive comments from village board members. Trustee Perry Hoag said it is likely to be difficult to find another tenant for that space in the plaza. Trustee James Mitros said it might be a good use for that space.

“This seems more like a restaurant than some of the other proposals we’ve heard,” Mitros said.

However, Trustee Diane Williams reminded the village board that the planned restaurant would be close to a residential neighborhood and that the people living there should have a chance to weigh in on the proposal.

Braun said he dislikes mass mailings touting local video gambling establishments and does not want such mail generated in Flossmoor.

Trustees voting to approve the Lucky Dog liquor license were Hoag, Mitros and Brian Driscoll. Williams, James Wilder and Philip Minga voted against it.

Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery remains the only location in the village where video gambling is allowed.  In September 2015, the village board voted to allow gambling machines, which were previously not permitted. The approval came after Flossmoor Station co-owner Dean Armstrong asked the board to change its policy on gambling machines.

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