Palatine restaurant likely to stay open despite drug sale
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La Presa, 319 S. Rohlwing, faces a two-week suspension of its business license because of a drug sale on the premises, but appears to have avoided a complete revocation of its license.
Kimberly Pohl | Staff Photographer
Although Palatine police say the owner's son dealt cocaine on restaurant premises, a deal announced Wednesday likely will allow La Presa to stay open because of its otherwise clean record.
Under the agreement, which must be approved by Village Manager Reid Ottesen, the restaurant's business license would be suspended, probably for a couple of weeks. La Presa, 319 N. Rohlwing Road, also would be responsible for to-be-determined fines and other measures, such as having additional management present.
"They've never had a problem before, and hopefully this is the one blemish," said Paul Augustyn, the attorney for restaurant owner Guadalupe Machado.
At a hearing Wednesday that could have concluded with La Presa losing its business license, Augustyn and village attorney Patrick Brankin stipulated that 0.8 grams of cocaine was sold at the restaurant on Nov. 8, 2012. They would not disclose the seller's name, but police identified him as Jesus Machado, the son of the restaurant's owner.
The involved employee is no longer with the restaurant, Augustyn said, and La Presa's liquor-serving employees would obtain the required certification under the agreement.
Palatine Deputy Police Chief Brad Grossman said a confidential informant tipped off police that drugs were being sold at the business. An undercover officer posed as a customer and bought the cocaine from the younger Machado, Grossman said.
Machado, 19, of the 1300 block of Winslowe Drive, was arrested Nov. 28 and charged with possession of a controlled substance — manufacture/delivery of less than a gram of cocaine, Grossman said.
A Cook County judge set his bond at $10,000. He's due back in court Feb. 21 in Rolling Meadows, a Cook County state's attorney's spokeswoman said.
Augustyn said that before La Presa opened on Rohlwing Road, the family-owned restaurant operated at another location for about seven years. A second La Presa has been open on Rand Road for about five years.
"You're talking 14 years of business with no problem," Augustyn said. "The company takes this very seriously."
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