Oak Lawn officials say Chuck E. Cheese's is in danger of being kicked out of the village if it can’t keep adults from fighting in the children’s restaurant. Police have been called to the 95th street location more than 50 times already this year.
Village President Sandy Bury said the restaurant gave up its liquor license in 2014.
“I thought oh it’s a kids place, they don’t need liquor there,” Bury said. “I was hopeful that would kinda quiet things down but it hasn’t, unfortunately.”
Recently an off-duty police officer working security was assaulted during a family fight.
“The individual identified himself as an officer, and the person swore and said ‘I don’t give a bleep who you are’ and pushed the officer,” Bury said.
That attack prompted a meeting with Oak Lawn leaders and the head of the company, CEC Entertainment.
“In this particular case, we had the president of Chuck E. Cheese's … fly in on a Saturday to meet with our mayor,” said village manager Larry Deetjan. “The burden is on them to proactively come up with adjusting the security in the building, how they address the incidents that occurred. We have zero tolerance for that type of behavior and the resulting incidents will not be condoned in our community.”
Neetjan and Bury said the company has been a responsive and cooperative partner. The most recent fight prompted CEC Entertainment to hire an outside security consultant.
If that doesn’t work, Bury said Chuck E. Cheese's could have its business license revoked.
“They’ve done what we’ve asked them. They’ve been responsive, but it’s not enough to keep kids safe. These incidents are still occurring,” Bury said. “It’s on them. If they can make the kids safe and have it be a safe environment, they’re welcome in Oak Lawn. If it’s not happening, they’re not gonna be in Oak Lawn long.”
Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him @pksmid.