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.