Montgomery Village Board members want more information before they continue their consideration of a liquor license request for what one board member described as a “little casino” planned in a storefront in the Ogden Hill shopping center at Ogden Avenue (Route 34) and Route 30 in the village.
The owners of May’s Lounge, are seeking the liquor license to serve beer and wine in a video gambling lounge that would be located at 1240 Ogden Ave. May’s Lounge currently operates 13 locations in the Chicago area, including Bartlett, Glendale Heights and Streamwood.
In a letter to the village, Joe Elias, managing member and owner, said that his firm has a tentative five-year contract to lease the 1,500-square-foot storefront on Ogden Avenue in the village.
Under state law, the lounge could have up to five video gambling terminals.
Elias estimated his firm would spend about $250,000 to build out the lounge space, and it would generate about $20,000 annually in taxes for the village from food and beverage sales.
Elias described May’s Lounge as a “luxury gaming and entertainment lounge.” He continued, “We offer exciting entertainment options along with gourmet tapas-style dishes, seasonal selection of fine wines, locally crafted beers, as well as coffee from fair trade growers.”
During a village board meeting Nov. 12, Village President Matt Brolley noted the lounge would be the first of its kind in the village and would be located along the community’s busiest stretch of highway.
Until now, Brolley said, the board has had a policy of discouraging video gambling lounges from locating in the village. Instead, he said, the village has sought to allow video gaming in restaurants that generate a minimum of half their revenue from food and beverage sales.
Board members expressed differing views on the liquor license request.
“This looks like the kind of place my wife and I and friends would go to, sit down, have a couple of drinks and play some games,” said board member Steve Jungermann.
Board member Doug Marecek questioned the proposed floor plan and layout of the lounge and asked for more information.
Marecek and Jungermann both said they plan to visit other May’s Lounges to get a better understanding of the business and the proposal.
Board member Tom Betsinger noted that information presented to the board was, in his view, a “more thorough and thought out plan” than one the board received for a proposed barbershop and video game lounge last month. The board, however, was “seemingly more interested” in that proposal than May’s Lounge, Betsinger said.
Board member Denny Lee described the lounge as a “little casino” and questioned the tax revenue projections presented to the board.
Lee and board member Dan Gier both said they are opposed to granting the liquor license.
Board member Theresa Sperling was absent from the meeting.
The board, however, agreed to continue their consideration of the liquor license request during their next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25 at Village Hall, 200 North River St.