Complaints filed against four Gurnee-area eateries that defied indoor dining ban

  • Timothy O'Toole's Pub and Restaurant in Gurnee is one of four Gurnee-area restaurants that announced plans to reopen for indoor dining.

    Timothy O'Toole's Pub and Restaurant in Gurnee is one of four Gurnee-area restaurants that announced plans to reopen for indoor dining. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Updated 1/20/2021 7:06 PM

Lake County Health Department officials said two complaints have been filed against the four Gurnee-area restaurants whose owners decided to open for customers last Friday.

Lawrence J. Mackey, the department's director of environmental health, said officials will visit each restaurant in the coming days.


The owners of Kaiser's Pizza and Pub, Timothy O'Toole's Pub and Restaurant, Stevens' of Gurnee and The Shanty of Wadsworth announced their intentions to resume indoor dining at 25% capacity about two weeks ago.

Mackey said if the restaurants are found to be in violation of state COVID-19 restrictions, such as serving customers indoors, they will be issued a violation notice.

"Per the ordinance, they will be given no less than seven days to comply," Mackey said. "If still not in compliance after that time, a citation may be issued that could result in fines."

The minimum fine would be $115 plus $50 in court costs, and the maximum would be $1,000, he said.

Both complaints cited all four restaurants, Mackey said. The first complaint was submitted Friday and the second was submitted Tuesday.

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Representatives from Timothy O'Toole's Pub and Restaurant and Stevens' said they had no comment regarding the complaints. No one from Kaiser's or The Shanty replied to requests for comment Wednesday.

Ed Roman, the owner of Kaiser's, told the Daily Herald last week the restaurant owners decided to open for indoor dining because they faced shutting down if the situation continued.

"We're all kind of at the point where either we close the doors permanently or give this a shot," Roman said last Thursday.

To combat the spread of COVID-19 and address rising cases, Gov. J.B. Pritzker closed Chicago-area restaurants and bars for indoor service in late October. None of the suburban regions are eligible for indoor dining restrictions to be lifted yet.

Roman said the restaurant owners informed local officials about their decision because they didn't want to broadside anybody or hide in the shadows.

Gurnee officials confirmed last week they were made aware of the restaurant owners' plan. Assistant Village Administrator Jack Linehan said Wednesday the village had not received any complaints about the three restaurants within village borders.

According to social media, the restaurants remain open for in-person dining.

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