Downtown Palatine music venue moves a step closer to reality
A plan for a new restaurant and bar with live entertainment in downtown Palatine got the OK from the zoning board of appeals, and is expected to go before the village council for final approval Jan. 18.
Board members voted 4-2 in late December to recommend a special use permit for Madcats at 117 W. Slade Street, which would be operated by a team led by owner Savio Lobo. The space previously was occupied by Mac's on Slade, which closed in summer 2019.
Several people expressed support for Lobo's plan, both in writing and during a public hearing held by the zoning board.
"There has been a hole in entertainment in Palatine since (Mac's on Slade) closed," said Rich Burke of Hoffman Estates.
But business owners in the same downtown building voiced opposition. Cally Razes, owner of My Flavor It Place, said Madcats would not fit in with the building's family- and children-oriented tenants, which also include a dance studio, photography studio and violin shop.
"This bar sounds great and I agree that live music, there should be more of it -- but not in this building," she said.
Zoning board Chair Jan Wood pointed out that Mac's on Slade occupied the space for many years. Allowing a new use for the space would give her pause, but that's not the case, Wood said.
Lobo's attorney, Jerry Pinderski Jr., said Madcats would not tolerate any unruly behavior. "We are going to be presenting an excellent product that this community will be very proud of," he said.
Lobo also is seeking approval for a category D liquor license, same as the one held by Mac's on Slade.
The zoning board agreed with several recommendations from village staff members regarding Lobo's plan, including a review of the venue within six months of occupancy "to determine if additional noise control measures are necessary."
Village staff members had expressed concern about Lobo's plan to expand the venue's floor plan to include a room in the back. The room is separated by a hallway shared with other building tenants and is not visible from the main restaurant/bar area, so it would be difficult to monitor and people could access it from the back of the building, Director of Planning and Zoning Ben Vyverberg said.
Two commissioners, John Pirog and James Dittrich, agreed with those concerns and voted against a recommendation.
Lobo said he could install security cameras in the room in the back, which would be used for private parties and additional restaurant seating.
"I am grateful to the staff for their review and diligence that helps me have a better business plan," he said.
Zoning board member Cindy Roth-Wurster said the new venue could give a platform to entertainers in Palatine who now perform in venues elsewhere.
"I think this gives everyone a chance to start fresh and bring something into our town to make it lively," she said.