India Bhawan agrees to close after Palatine alleges illegal activity
An Indian restaurant in Palatine that was accused of not taking precautions to prevent illegal drug sales on the premises and allowing another eatery to operate in its building without a license will voluntarily close under an agreement with the village.
Patrick Callihan, an attorney representing India Bhawan at 1280 E. Dundee Road, submitted an agreed order with the village requiring the 2-year-old restaurant to shutter by Dec. 31 instead of proceeding with a hearing that had been scheduled Wednesday on potential sanctions regarding its business and liquor licenses.
"It was just too difficult to operate," Callihan said. "Hopefully, they'll do better next time."
India Bhawan was accused of allowing nine "illegal activities" in July and August, according to village documents. Failing to take precautions to prevent "numerous" instances of drug sales, permitting the unlicensed Mexican restaurant to operate within its space, fights and disorderly conduct were among the accusations.
Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen ordered the restaurant closed for a week in May as a result of code violations concerning food safety and other problems. India Bhawan was allowed to reopen after submitting a plan addressing the issues.
India Bhawan was directed to correct what village documents say were violations including potentially hazardous foods not maintained at required temperatures, a blocked and inaccessible hand-washing sink and a mattress and sleeping area found in the restaurant's basement.
Ottesen said police became aware "there may be more going on up there" at India Bhawan after the food safety case.
Village police reports from July say a confidential informant called attention to alleged cocaine dealing and after-hours alcohol sales at the unlicensed Mexican restaurant operating within India Bhawan's walls. It's believed the Mexican eatery started at India Bhawan in May or June, according to police.
Documents also show there were fights and disorderly conduct occurrences at India Bhawan.
"I think we'd like to see somebody occupying the space abiding by village code and doesn't have illegal activities taking place out there," Ottesen said.
Palatine village council members granted approval in late 2015 for India Bhawan to operate in the Dundee Road strip mall space previously occupied by Rossini de Lucca. The restaurant seats 196 customers.