Show-Me’s will get liquor license, with restrictions
By Jenette Sturges email@example.com December 16, 2010 2:44PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
At long last, the question is answered: Naperville wears short-shorts.
Mayor and Liquor Commissioner A. George Pradel announced Thursday afternoon that Show-Me’s, the restaurant franchise, condemned by some future neighbors for its scantily clad servers called “Show-Me’s girls,” will be granted a liquor license.
The restaurant, to be at the site of the former Famous Dave’s, 1126 E. Ogden Ave., caused a commotion for neighbors, who have fought the establishment via a petition, protest and in a special open forum of the Liquor Commission, held in November.
“Must Naperville reinforce the idea that women are nothing more than sex objects?” said resident Jeanette Steiner at that meeting. “Is this the message we want to set for girls in our community?”
Residents also raised concerns about increased traffic along Burlington Avenue, which leads into a neighborhood, as well as parking, noise and late hours.
But in the end, Pradel said, the city had a legal obligation to be fair and equitable in its decision.
The liquor commission met with owners, conducted background checks, and concluded there was “no legal basis” to deny Show-Me’s its liquor license.
“We took every item seriously and we just couldn’t find something to keep them out of there except for the people voicing their opinion that they didn’t want a Show-Me’s there,” said Pradel. “So we tried to make a compromise.”
As part of that compromise, hours will be restricted to midnight every night of the week, to reflect the hours of nearby restaurants like Las Palmas and Chuck E Cheese that also have liquor licenses. Outdoor seating, outdoor activities and amplifiers will not be permitted.
And the “Show-Me’s girls” will wear toned-down T-shirts that cover midriffs and shorts with a butt-covering cuff.
Show-Me’s owner and president Ron Cote, who appeared at a Dec. 9 Liquor Commission meeting to answer questions and display the uniforms his employees wear, said his franchisees would fully comply with the city’s restrictions.
That commitment, in part, earned the support of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.
“Show-Me’s has indicated that they’re willing to comply with all the laws and ordinances in Naperville and will comply with everything that happens to make this a good community,” said John Schmitt, president of the chamber. “I’m just glad that it didn’t get tied up (in court) and that the mayor made the right decision.”
Cote said he was “very pleased” to hear his restaurant would be allowed to move in, and thanked the mayor and Liquor Commission.
“They’ve checked us out more than we’ve ever been checked out by any city,” said Cote. “We’re happy to be there, and we think most people, not everybody, but most people, will be happy, too.”
Cote said he hopes to open sometime in January, “in time for football playoffs.”