A 40-year-old restaurant in Hoffman Estates, whose roadside visibility became a casualty of recent improvements to the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway, will soon benefit from a larger-than-normal sign and LED message display to draw eyes.
The sign for The Assembly Bar & Cafe at the northeast corner of Barrington and Hassell roads overcame a narrow recommendation for denial by the planning and zoning commission to win unanimous approval from the village board Monday.
Mayor Bill McLeod was the first to speak after hearing the report on the commission's 6-5 vote against the sign, in which the majority were concerned with setting a legal precedent for all similarly sized businesses.
"It's in a hole and I really do think they need a high sign," McLeod said of the restaurant and its proposed sign's 35-foot height from the parking lot beside but below Barrington Road. "It is a classic institution in Hoffman Estates."
The sign would alert drivers on Barrington Road where to turn onto Hassell, just south of the entrance ramp for the eastbound tollway.
Trustee Karen Mills also remarked on the unique situation The Assembly was in, including having no residential properties nearby that could be disturbed by the sign.
Planning and zoning commission Chair Eva Combs clarified that the majority of her panel wasn't bothered by the height as much as its 236-square-foot overall size and 90-square-foot LED display.
A typical commercial sign in the village would be about 200 square feet, with no more than a 64-square-foot LED display.
The commission had recommended denial even after the sign was reduced from 240 square feet with a 180-square-foot LED display in response to earlier criticisms.
"It's a sign we worked really hard on and we're really proud of it," Assembly owner Gary Taylor told trustees.
All were convinced.
"I think this is very attractive," Trustee Michael Gaeta said. "I think you did an excellent job with this."