Ruckus over racy restaurant in Naperville

November 4, 2010 4:29:53 PM PDT
Some people in suburban Naperville are protesting plans for a racy new restaurant called "Show-Me's."The restaurant chain features waitresses in skimpy clothing. Some residents voiced their opposition at a liquor commission meeting Thursday afternoon.

Naperville Mayor George Pradel and other officials got an hour-and-a-half-long earful from upset residents.

The franchise is based in Missouri, nicknamed the Show-Me State, but that's not the only thing behind the name.

The Show-Me's website touts a menu of burgers, fries, and seafood, all served with a side of sex appeal.

"Having a business of that nature right next to a friendly neighborhood is extremely offensive," said Show-Me's opponent Laura Arturo.

On Thursday, dozens turned out to ask Naperville officials to show Show-Me's the door.

"Our home values will drop," said opponent Laura Rapsys. "I would not buy my home again with Show-Me's around the corner."

The 20-year-old franchise, which some have compared to Hooters, has two downstate locations and is now headed for a vacant spot on East Ogden Avenue in Naperville, just two businesses down from a Chuck E. Cheese and near a neighborhood

"Everybody knows sex sells. That's what I think they're aiming at," said opponent George Isaac. "This is not the place for it."

There are also concerns about Show-Me's late hours and bar clientele.

"It's not if, but when, a drunk driver from Show-Me's bar hurts one of our kids," said opponent Samantha Isaac.

Whether to grant Show-Me's a liquor license a move that could determine the establishment's fate is now up to the village.

"If they follow the rules and they actually go through all the process, it would really be hard to say no," said Pradel.

"There's no way to make everyone happy," Show-Me's Franchise President Ron Cote said from St. Louis in a phone call. "We have no claims of being a family restaurant, but we do a lot of family business."

Some who work near this year-long vacant spot say they welcome a new occupant.

"As long as they're doing fair business and not doing any naked or anything bad, that is OK," said Laig Munir of All Service and Refrigeration.

"You know, if it helps promote a positive attitude for the community and puts some jobs into people's lives, I think that's an upbeat positive thing," said insurance agent Tom Revish.

Mayor Pradel says the city has dress code rules for restaurants with liquor licenses and Show-Me's would have to comply with those rules.

The city has 30 days to decide on the Show-Me's debate.


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