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Palatine Creates Smoking Area Near Hotshots

The Palatine Village Council approved a place where people can smoke on Slade Street to keep the sidewalks clear of smokers.

The Palatine Village Council has designated a place for smokers outside of Hotshots, 53 W. Slade St.

The village had gotten complaints about people standing on the sidewalk in front of the bar and restaurant smoking. State law requires that a smoking section be at least 15 feet from any entrance which is impossible because of Hotshots configuration.

The council voted earlier this week that smokers from Hotshots now will be expected to walk to the western edge of the parking lot across the street to an area located near the Metra tracks. Whether the smokers will actually go to the new smoking area remains to be seen.

"Actually this whole thing is getting stupid," said District 5 Council member Jack Wagner after a discussion by the council about what kind of signage was needed to inform the smokers. "Are we going to start putting signs up all over the village?"

"I'm not a smoker, but if I'm walking down a sidewalk and I notice an area where there's a bunch of people smoking and I don't want to walk through the smoke I'm going to walk around them," Wagner said.

Wagner said he thought the village was singling out Hotshots and that Hotshots deserved equal protection under the law.

District 6 Council member Brad Helms said one reason the village was dealing with Hotshots is that it's entrance was on a publicly owned sidewalk.

"The only reason why it's here is because I've received complaints. So it must be a problem," Helms said, adding that if he didn't address the issue then he was not doing his job as a council member.

"No that's not necessarily true," Wagner replied. "Because if I did everything that every single resident wanted me to do in 24 years there'd be no cars on the street. No listening to the radio...There wouldn't be any wine served outside."

Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen said Hotshots was unique because the building had no location in front that would meet the state's 15 feet requirement. Most bars and businesses do have enough space to meet the requirment, but there are three or four downtown that do not.

"This is one attempt to have a solution," Ottesen said.

The village plans to review the situation in 90 days.

The Village Council also approve a special use permit which will allow Hotshots to offer live entertainment such as DJ shows, karaoke and bands.

Skip April 14, 2011 at 12:18 PM
HOT SHOTS has been in the news too much lately ... and the news is always bad. There have been complaints about the beer signs in the window, which are still there in very large numbers. There was a story about what a great restaurant it is, and the same story suggested it's a family-oriented establishment. Why does the Village Council keep making allowances for this place? It is not the wholesome, family-focused environment that has been suggested. It is, however, a place where you can see people smoking outside and harrassing passers-by. District 5's Jack Wagner suggests he would "walk around them," but that only condones this kind of thing. It's time for the Village to realize that this place is having a negative effect on downtown Palatine. Stop making excuses for the place ... and get rid of it!
marsha smith April 14, 2011 at 12:42 PM
This LOW life Bar should have NEVER been allowed to open where it opened ...... Are we trying to make Palatine a bartown with a bunch of drinkers ???? Look around people there is only one nice restaurant and a bunch of bars ........................SO dissappointed in Palatine .. I have lived here for 43 years
Michael April 14, 2011 at 02:00 PM
A Nonsmoker and Drinker, All the Bars in Palatine have the same problems. Papa's, they smoke in the doorway. There is even an ashtray next to the door. They are wrong to having that out side the front door. But one of the council members father frequents the place every day. And he is a smoker. Lamps are the same they site or stand next to the door in the sometimes they go on the deck. Gianni’s they smoke right in front of the door. So if the village is going to do this for one make them all go to a smoking area. I’m a nonsmoker and drinker too. The Village still takes Hot Shot’s sales taxes dollars every month. Do we want downtown to be empty storefronts? Why do we have compliances about the 8 beer signs? Lamp’s has over 30 in the window? Council members come on? Mr. Wagner is right is work on building the downtown not making it difficult for the new business.
Kev April 14, 2011 at 04:18 PM
Is there REALLY a long term development plan council members? Route 14 does NOT run through our downtown area. If we want a sucessful downtown lets get REAL Mr. Helms. Experience shows retail Does not work. Ie Fancy Nancies, Ms. Bossy Boots etc. People go to Malls or shoping centers for retail. Why is this a mystery? There are many sucessful towns where an entermailment/food/drinking and social environment has been very sucessful. New Orleans, Las Vegas, and most larger cities come to mind. Why are you not realizing Rt.14 will never go through downtown Palatine and adjust our thinking/Planing to use the potential we have? If we want sucessful businesses why not HELP them? Maybe a smoker friendly kiosk that would keep everyone happy? Maybe comming to grips with what a Realistic potential for downtown is? Work with what you have quit trying to pretend Rt. 14 or Palatine Rd. Widening will pull retail to downtown. If you're business friendly be that for smokers and non smokers alike and entertainment businesses as well.
James April 14, 2011 at 06:12 PM
To our elected officals..do you really think the empty store fronts are better than working businesses..So You fancy panted , upper crust dont like bars . But do they not pay sales tax. So maybe we should keep the empty store fronts and just raise local tax ..Hows that sound...Or just do like all other townships that runs out of ideas and just bring in mexican businesses ...We have all drove through those areas ..Keep resticting businesses from wanting to come to Palatine ..( tatoo Parlors...Pawn shops...Bars...) What are you our elected officals feel would be better for Palatine ..Or do you really think or care.....?
Double D April 14, 2011 at 08:10 PM
Martha in response to your LOW Life comment. Bars have been in Palatine long before Hotshots opened. This bar is clean with great food and awsome employees. On Friday and Saturday nights they even run out of the dinner specials which usually are Prime Rib or Filet Mingon, or even Duck. It is obvious that other bars in town are losing busineess to a new one that opened. People like to try new places. I know I do. Bauers is new and nice and guess what there's a BAR in there!!!! All I can say is if you say Hotshots is a hole in the wall then so is Lamp's Pop's and Durty Nellies. Hotshots sponsers little league as well . Guess what families will be there with the kids eating pizza and drinking pop. THEY PAY TAXES HUNNIE!!!! So if you want a Chuckie Cheese its located on Dundee road. Let me also add Hotshots being in the paper, good or bad is only going to bring more business to them.
James April 14, 2011 at 09:58 PM
Your right Skip....Hotshots been talked about a lot lately....the new bad guys on the block....They seem to do very well..for a place that no one wants in the downtown area....Must be all those bad and evil people you are so scared of...the guy down the block, that couple across the street...Your outlook is very narrow and resticted. The people enjoying Hotshots and all the other places like it are just your everyday people not bad not evil. But you are right about Hotshots being in the new a lot. ( sounds like someone has an axe to grind ) Maybe other bar ouners or coucilmen....but thats my thoughts...
Susan Eva April 15, 2011 at 12:47 AM
It is just unfortunate that Hotshots doesn't have a deck or larger entrance. The reality is, even during the day (as I've witnessed), smokers spill out over the ENTIRE sidewalk in front. I'm actually not anti-smoker, but I do like to be able to walk along a public sidewalk. Smokers, just make a little room for us to get by, as a policy! Mr. Wagner, experience something before you suggest it. To get around the smokers the way it is now, I'd be walking in the street. You want a pregnant woman walking in the street, fine. Great suggestion. I have heard good things about the food at Hotshots, so I am going to try it sometime! Please, more good food joints in Palatine! And a quality ice cream place downtown, if I can have my biggest wish.
Double D April 15, 2011 at 06:40 PM
Susan, that was a nice comment, and yes people do spill outside and it is a issue, but only because of where Hotshots is located. I am sure the Owner (who is a non-snoker) will do his best to rectify the problem. The food there is totally AWSOME for the money that you pay. From Pizza to pasta, and the weekend specials of Prime Rib with a baked potatoe for 12.95 you cant beat that. So I hope that someday you would go in and try the food. Trust me you will tell all your friends. ITS NOT BAR food that is for sure.
Concerned Resident April 15, 2011 at 07:21 PM
I commend the Village for trying to work through this problem and remedy the situation with this establishment. They could have said no smoking period and not come up with any solution. It seems as though the press is putting Hotshots out there in the negative light, not the Village. It is what you make of it I guess. I hear the food is good and will be trying it soon...
Jason April 15, 2011 at 10:26 PM
The state and village law about smoking says that people must be 15 feet away from ANY business. Bars and restaurants aren't the only businesses in Palatine. I see people smoking in front of the Village Hall, Salons, Grocery Stores and even Gas Stations. My girlfriend and I were even given permission from the waitress at EMMETT'S to smoke on their patio. I agree that something must be done about smokers and non-smokers living amongst each other. Find a smoking area but make it a collective effort from both business owners and the Village to maintain these smoking areas. I am also concerned about patrons of these bars walking across streets to smoke when drinking. Whose fault is it if they get hit by a car?
Favorite99 April 16, 2011 at 12:32 PM
I have never lived in Palatine though my brother did for 25 years. I was at the village board meeting but I don't know enough to comment on the smoking on the streets problem and just happened to be reading this article and the responses. Susan Eva, you are going to get your biggest wish. We will be reopening the ice cream shop on Palatine Rd. with new management, quality products and some fresh ideas. We are still working on all the details but please contact me at favorite99@aol.com if you have any requests or ideas for us. Susan Eva, we would be honored to have you as our first customer when we open. Anybody else that sends me a message or mentions that you saw this will get a free something or other. Hope to see you soon.
Susan Eva April 17, 2011 at 06:56 PM
I'm so excited! We need a good ice cream place here, and I can walk to that location. Which I will, on opening day. Great news!
Double D April 18, 2011 at 03:35 PM
I find it funny that this has become such a huge issue. I seem to remember during street fest last August a bunch of people smoking right on Slade Street. What are they going to do this year? Last time I checked this is a free country. It angers me beyond belief that Hotshots is being singled out for no reason and the other bars are not getting this type of treatment from the village. I wonder who is paying who under the table here.
Jason April 21, 2011 at 07:34 PM
Perhaps Mr. Helms should talk to the Village lawyer, looks like a law suit might be headed Palatines way, he continues to comment publicly that the owner of Hotshots misrepresents himself when stating that his establishment is not family friendly, I have witnessed numerous times families gathering enjoying the atmosphere and great food. Hotshots sponsors little league and soft ball teams! Mr. Helms please don"t call the owner a lair I don't need my taxdollars spent on a law suit defending your lack of knowledge.
Kev April 21, 2011 at 07:38 PM
You mean who is paying whom. Hotshots is doing nothing different than all of the other eating and drinking establishments in Palatine. Mr. Helms, you claim it's not a family establishment, that Hotshots misrepresented themselves. If that's true, why are there families in there? How many times have you been in Hotshots for a meal or drink? If I were a lawyer looking to make a reputation, it seems your discrimination of Hotshots would be a good place to start. There is equal protection under the law. It's a shame we lost Jack Wagner and his common sense approach to helping Palatine grow. Jack was right when he said, "This is getting stupid". Maybe a job in the competive private sector (with no salary guarantees) would teach you this. We taxpayers are getting tired of the minority dictating to the majority or haven't you been watching the elections. If empty storefronts are your goal, you're on the right track. You propose to be business friendly, yet your accusations against Hotshots speak volumns.
James April 21, 2011 at 08:21 PM
Food and fuel cost rising , On going wars in the middle East ,Nuclear melt down in Japan , oil spill in the gulf and Palatine city council member having a pissing contest of power...Yes the council member do wheel the power in Palatine we get it....Just getting a bit crazy over a smoke here not, there policy....In all and all you bad mouth good business owners and thier establishments as unfriendly , dictating guide lines you just pull out a shade place behind you. ( your asses) close them all down ..bring in Mexcan business ...then change the name from Palatine to Waukegan south...
Double D April 21, 2011 at 09:31 PM
I wonder if Arlington Heights, Naperville and other towns have a major bug up there wazoozz to make such a stupid complaint. Maybe fat people should not be allowed into McDonalds. If someone gets hurt crossing the street cause they want to smoke I hope Palatine has good attorneys to represent them. Also I think that Palatine needs some fresh new faces on city council as well. I know of a few good men who would do a wonderful job. Quit wasting precious energy on something so stupid. Think about filling the empty store fronts and save the people of Palatine some tax dollars.

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