After a spate of violent incidents at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Oak Lawn, Chatham residents are pushing back against a proposed plan to move the chain into their neighborhood.
“It’s no secret we’ve had our share of violence that’s been plaguing the whole city.” Worlee Glover of the group Concerned Citizens of Chatham said. “We feel that the same crowd that is causing the problems out there will just come over here and cause the same problems.”
Over the past several years, Oak Lawn police have responded to over 300 calls and arrested over two dozen people in incidents at the restaurant. Because of those issues, the chain did agree to close the location by December.
Now, there is potential that the chain could open a location in Chatham. The Burlington Coat Factory in the neighborhood is downsizing, and according to 21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins, one of the potential companies looking to fill that extra space is Chuck E. Cheese.
“What they told me is that there is no lease, but there are several proposals floating out there,” Brookins said. “Chuck E. Cheese is one of them.”
While Glover says that his group does want to see a family-friendly restaurant come to the Chatham neighborhood, the issues that Chuck E. Cheese has had in Oak Lawn have soured him on the idea of bringing this particular chain to the area.
“We definitely don’t want to see Chuck E. Cheese,” he said.
The group is currently circulating a petition on Change.org to push against the proposed restaurant.