McHenry to vote on video gaming ‘cafe’

McHENRY – A new business offering video gambling could make its home in a shopping center on Route 120.

The City Council is expected to vote Monday night on a conditional-use permit for a tavern and an off-street parking variance for the proposed business in the McHenry Market Place Shopping Center.

At an Oct. 18 hearing, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted, 5-2, in favor of the permit to allow a tavern with video gaming terminals at 4400 W. Elm St.

The establishment’s liquor license allows only beer and wine to be served. Owner Robert Dellutri of Aurora has described the business more as a cafe or lounge than a tavern. In addition to alcohol and video gaming, the business would serve coffee, soft drinks and packaged food items. It also would offer Wi-Fi access, Dellutri said.

The city’s administrative staff recommends the council approve the conditional-use permit and parking variance for 17 parking spaces.

“The proposed use is located in the midst of a shopping center with many types of uses where people could patronize the proposed business along with other shops in the center,” according to the city staff’s memo to the council.

With regard to the off-street parking variance, “staff does not believe there will be a shortage of parking in the general vicinity of the unit in question at any one time,” according to the memo.

Last summer, the McHenry City Council adopted an amendment permitting video gaming, such as video poker and blackjack, in liquor-licensed establishments in McHenry.

Under the state’s 2009 Video Gaming Act, electronic gaming is legal in establishments such as bars, veterans posts and truck stops. The Illinois Gaming Board is responsible for video gaming’s implementation and enforcement.

If you go

What: McHenry City Council
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
Where: Municipal Complex, 333 S. Green St. in McHenry

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