Restaurateur sets table for 1924 W. Chicago

Membership meeting minutes for May 4, 2009
Submitted by Dana Palmer

Guest speaker Bill Loumbardias, along with attorney Lisa Moreno, presented a proposal for The Winchester restaurant located at 1924 W. Chicago.

Mr. Loumbardias and Mrs. Moreno provided a revised proposal regarding neighborhood concerns raised at the previous March 2009 membership meeting. Among the concerns were noise, parking, garbage removal and storage, ventilation and the seeking of a Public Place of Amusement license:

  1. Noise: Many concerns were raised regarding the noise level of The Winchester due to the large capacity of seating, outdoor seating and drunken nuisances.

    1. Capacity: It was previously assessed that The Winchester would seat approximately 290 occupants. However, the new proposal assessed 190 indoor seats with 50 outdoor seats.

    2. Outdoor seating: Mr. Loumbardias stated that in the new proposal most outdoor seating will be directed towards Chicago Ave. versus the previous proposal having a large portion of the outdoor seating farther down along Winchester. He also explained that the new proposal has the outdoor area operating more as a cafe with a limited menu and that the outdoor area will be closed earlier that the indoor area.

    3. Drunken Nuisances: Mr. Loumbardias stated that he would agree to hiring an off-duty police officer to monitor patrons leaving the restaurant/bar late at night as a way of lessening the noise to neighbors of The Winchester.

  2. Parking: Previously many neighbors were concerned with the lack of parking available surrounding The Winchester.

    1. Mr. Loumbardias explained in the new proposal he has hired Upfront Parking Inc. Valet Service to provide valet parking services to patrons of The Winchester.

    2. A representative from Upfront Parking Inc. Valet Services was present at the meeting and stated that they have been able to secure 90 spots in four different locations, at 1747, 1752-1758 and 1739 W. Chicago as well as 710 N. Ashland.

  3. Garbage Removal: Concerns were previously raised regarding the small alley size and the inability of sanitation trucks to move down the alley for garbage pick up.

    1. Mr. Loumbardias stated that all garbage will be stored in the alley behind the business and will be picked up by sanitation trucks. However, he explained that the trucks will not be going down the alley to gather the garbage but rather the storage bins will be rolled out to Winchester to be emptied into the truck due to the small alley size.

    2. Deliveries: Mr. Loumbardias stated all deliveries will be made in the front of the business on Chicago Avenue and a loading zone spot will be allocated.

  4. Ventilation: Neighbors originally requested for the smokestack to be raised for ventilation to exceed the height of the adjacent building. Mr. Loumbardias and the architect with JEF & Associates, LLC, explained that the current structure will not support a stack of the height needed. Therefore, they are proposing the use of a new, high-tech. solution to ventilation called the Gaylord. The Gaylord was explained to be a pollution control ventilation system using ultraviolet technology. It was also explained to be designed to extract the majority of the grease produced from the restaurant.

  5. PPA license: Mr. Loumbardias stated that he is not currently seeking a PPA license but that he can not state that he will not seek one in the future.

After much debate, Scott Rappe, committee chair for Planning, Preservation and Development with EVA, made a motion to not oppose the zoning change from B3-2 to RT-4 of the property at 1924 W. Chicago with commitments of:

  • no deck on roof,

  • cafe to be closed at 11:00 p.m.; windows and doors to building to be closed along with cafe at 11:00 p.m.,

  • cafe will not exceed 50 people at any given time, and

  • off-duty police officer will be present to monitor crowd control for first 6 months.

Motion seconded by Brodi Cole and passed by majority vote by EVA members.

Second motion by Scott Rappe was made regarding property at 1916 W. Chicago to oppose zoning change. Motion seconded and passed by majority vote by EVA members.
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