EVA letter on High DIve PPA

June 26, 2012

Dear Alderman Waguespack:

Your offices requested that The East Village Association (EVA) provide its position on granting Blue Cactus, Inc. a public place of amusement license for its High Dive location at 1938 W. Chicago Avenue. In response to your request we invited Mr. Alex Tsolakides, the owner of Blue Cactus, Inc., to present his plans and to answer questions at our June 2012 general membership meeting. Mr. Tsolakides attended the meeting answered many questions and gave a description of his plans which includes, karaoke, djs and live music. After reviewing the proposed plans and the answers to various questions, EVA concluded that it could not support granting a public place of amusement license for this location.

First, EVA concluded that the resulting additional pedestrian and vehicular traffic would further strain the already stressed surrounding residential streets and residents. With the development of the intersection of Winchester Avenue and Chicago Avenue there have already been numerous complaints regarding truck traffic, illegal parking, litter and boisterous customers after closing hours. We also note that there are current plans to develop 1952 W. Chicago Avenue as a restaurant. The granting of a public place of amusement license will only exacerbate these problems.

Second, EVA concluded that the issuance of a public place of amusement license was inconsistent with the incidental license issued to Blue Cactus, Inc. High Dive is not a tavern and the uses proposed by Mr. Tsolakides are more consistent with a tavern license. EVA wants to discourage the operation of businesses with incidental liquor licenses as de facto taverns.

Third, EVA believes that the grant of this license will result in the argument from neighboring businesses that they too will need these licenses to compete. This area is not an entertainment district and should maintain its character as location for restaurants that serve liquor not bars that serve food.

On a final note, we want to advise your office that we are not criticizing the current operation of Mr. Tsolakides’ business. In the past we have found Mr. Tsolakides responsive to the concerns of his neighbors. Many of our members are regular customers of High Dive and enjoy the options it offers. However, we are of the opinion that the addition of the public place of amusement license at this location is inconsistent with the neighborhood and the current operation.

Please feel free to contact me if we can be of any assistance.

Neal McKnight
East Village Association
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Anselmo @properties business card,
Ask Nagel business card.

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