The corporate owners and local operator of Chuck E. Cheese’s have been ordered to appear before the Oak Lawn Village Liquor License Commission on May 27.
The hearing is in response to the latest incidence of violence at the popular children’s entertainment restaurant at 4031 W. 95th St. that required police intervention. Four men were charged for a fight that started near the salad bar Sunday evening, according to an Oak Lawn police report.
In April 2013, representatives from CEC Entertainment, the franchise’s parent company, agreed to pay off-duty, Oak Lawn police officers to provide security when the franchise's village liquor license was up for renewal.
CEC Entertainment, based in Irving, TX, merged with Apollo Global Management in February.
Oak Lawn Mayor Sandra Bury, in her role as village liquor license commission, said she learned of the adult fracas at Chuck E. Cheese’s from the Oak Lawn Police Chief Michael Murray.
An exclusive video by Patch shows police trying to disperse a large crowd of angry adults in front of the children's venue.
“Chief Murray notified me of this incident at 9:34 p.m. on Sunday, and at 9:38 p.m. I emailed our village attorneys that I wanted to discuss this first thing Monday morning,” Bury said in an email. “Notices were sent via FedEx to CEC corporate headquarters and the local store informing them of the hearing date and time.”
As of Thursday afternoon, there has been no response from CEC Entertainment or the local operator of the Oak Lawn location.
Pending the outcome of the May 26 hearing the day after Memorial Day, the village liquor license commissioner can choose to revoke or suspend Chuck E. Cheese’s liquor license, or impose a fine, on the basis that it violated disorderly conduct provisions in municipal and state liquor codes.
“We are highly concerned about the safety of children in and around this establishment and as liquor commissioner I will act quickly and decisively,” Bury said.
Tr. Terry Vorderer (Dist. 4) said he periodically visits the restaurant because it sits in his district and its past history.
“It’s spotlessly clean and the machines are well maintained,” Vorderer said. “Ninety-nine percent of the adults are enjoying their kids. It’s a darn shame that a few have to wreck it for everyone else.”
Although CEC Entertainment has tried hard to run a responsible business and he doesn’t want to violate anyone’s rights, Vorderer said the village needs to be proactive.
“This is a liquor establishment that caters to kids, that’s the whole business model,” he said. “We can’t slap them on the wrist and wait for the next incident.”
The hearing starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 27, at Village Hall, 9446 S. Raymond Ave. The hearing is open to the public.