The typically routine process of renewing liquor licenses turned into a spirited debate Tuesday among Bartlett village leaders over the rare 4 a.m. license granted the Cadillac Ranch nightclub.
Trustee T.L. Arends opposed renewing the club's 4 a.m. license, citing "so many problems there," though specifically stating she was not referring to a February shooting outside the business that left one man seriously injured.
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"I think in comparison to our other liquor licensees, we have a lot of problems there," she added. "Why are we granting a liquor license that late? Because all it does is attract the people who haven't quite had enough to drink to that bar."
Village President Michael Airdo disputed Arends' contention there have been "so many" problems at the Cadillac Ranch, and said he and other officials are working to address any issues highlighted by the shooting.
"I have worked closely, as the liquor commissioner, with the police department, with the village attorney, with the staff and with the representatives of Cadillac Ranch to deal with the issue," he said. "We've looked very closely at what those issues are and there will be an opinion and word coming out real soon with respect to how Cadillac Ranch is going to address that situation.
"I've reviewed every issue that has occurred there in the last 10 years and I will say there are very few problems at the Cadillac Ranch," Airdo added.
Police Chief Kent Williams said whether the bar should have a 4 a.m. license is a policy decision for the board.
"I can say we've always been impressed with their management and their willingness to work with us proactively to meet us more than half way, but to actually address issues before we even bring them to their concerns," he added.
Village Administrator Valerie Salmons said the reason the bar has a 4 a.m. license goes back to when it was annexed into Bartlett, instead of Streamwood, in the early 1990s.
"When the dust finally settled and that facility was going to be in Bartlett, part of that agreement was for that liquor license," she said. "Now, that doesn't mean it always has to be that way."
Arends was the only trustee to voice an objection to renewing the liquor license, and the measure ultimately was approved.