Plans for a new restaurant and bar in Chicago Ridge gained momentum Tuesday night when the village board approved business and liquor licenses for the establishment.
Trustees approved licenses for the Crossing Bar and Grill, 102nd Street and Ridgeland Avenue, which was previously Bearhawks Sports Bar and Grill.
But trustees continued to voice concerns about a lack of sufficient parking at the restaurant, which is located in a small strip mall.
Bar owners told the board they were willing add 16 parking spaces to a location behind the bar, which is adjacent to Gen Hoe Chinese Restaurant.
There are a limited number of parking spaces in front on the strip mall, but not nearly enough to accommodate a busy restaurant and bar, officials said.
Owners said they have been unsuccessful contacting the owner of Penny Lane School, which owns a parking lot adjacent to the strip mall. Mayor Chuck Tokar suggested contacting the school’s owner about leasing parking spaces to the new establishment.
Trustees two weeks ago delayed granting a business license for the restaurant until the owners could determine if Penny Lane would agree to lease some of its parking spaces.
Trustees are concerned that bar patrons will park in the residential neighborhood adjacent to the tavern if sufficient parking is not provided.
“That’s going to be a problem — like I told you before — if you’re successful,” Trustee John Lind said.
Lind said he wants the bar to succeed but not at residents’ expense. He said Tuesday that he would talk to the owner of Penny Lane on the restaurant’s behalf.
Tokar said he also would favor additional parking behind the bar or in the Penny Lane lot.
“Either of the (parking) options would certainly help,” the mayor said.
Employees of the restaurant will park in a mechanic’s lot across Ridgeland Avenue.