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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.

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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