Corporate officials for a popular children’s entertainment restaurant informed Oak Lawn’s village attorneys that they are voluntarily relinquishing their village liquor license.
Irving, TX-based CEC Entertainment Inc., which operates Chuck E. Cheese at 4031 W. 95th St. in Oak Lawn, sent a letter on Friday in response to a notice to appear before the village’s liquor control commission next week.
According to CEC, an internal investigation of the “unfortunate incident on May 18” where a fight broke out inside the children’s venue resulting in the arrests of four men, indicated that alcohol, purchased or smuggled, had not played a role in the incident.
Despite this lack of evidence, the company was voluntarily relinquishing its liquor license at the Oak Lawn location, Jeffrey R. Strege, senior director of risk management for CEC, explained in his letter to the village.
The letter further outlined steps that CEC has taken to provide additional training in safety and security to employees at the Oak Lawn location, as well as adding brighter lighting and bolstering “code of conduct” signage for guest behavior expectations.
Additional security cameras have been installed at Chuck E. Cheese, among other measures taken that improved guest behavior, “except for the isolated incident on May 18,” Strege said.
Strege added that store management has received positive feedback from guests and the Oak Lawn Police Department to enhance safety at Chuck E. Cheese.
“It is unfortunate that some individuals in our society have disrespect for each other and for the law. As is the case for many retailers, untoward circumstances have historically occurred within their premises. As a good corporate citizen, CEC has been at the forefront of in taking affirmative steps to enhance the safety of its guests and employees,” Strege said.
Even though alcohol “played no part” in Sunday’s incident, part of which was captured in an exclusive Patch video, CEC Entertainment would be relinquishing its liquor license at the upcoming Liquor Control Commission hearing on Tuesday, May 27.
“This is certainly a good gesture and I’m very pleased,” Mayor Sandra Bury said. “There is still the issue of children’s safety, but I believe this will go a long way toward resolving that.”
Bury said that should security issues continue at Oak Lawn location, especially involving children’s safety, the village board could look at other options, such as revoking Chuck E. Cheese’s business license.
“I want to thank Patch readers for weighing in,” the mayor said. “It made a big difference.”