Anyone wanting to open a tattoo shop or massage parlor in Chicago Ridge will have to look elsewhere, for a while anyway.
This is because the Village Board on Tuesday unanimously approved ordinances amending the village code to limit both types of businesses to the number already operating in town. There are only two tattoo shops in the village -- Big Al’s, at 10347 Southwest Highway, and Red Moon, at 5704 W. 111th St. -- and no more will be allowed to open.
Likewise, Trustee Sally Durkin said, “We’re limiting the number of massage licenses to one. The one in the mall,” referring to Relax Magic, already in operation in Chicago Ridge Mall. No more permits will be issued.
Trustee Fran Coglianese said that investigations into reports of prostitution occurring in massage establishments in the area had led to the decision to limit the businesses in Chicago Ridge.
For instance, In March 2015, three women were arrested at a massage parlor in the 7200 block of West 127th Street in Palos Heights. One was charged with prostitution and two others were charged with giving massages without a proper license.
In November 2014, an undercover police investigation led to a massage parlor in Orland Park being shut down. The investigation began after a man reported being inappropriately touched during a massage there, and the business was closed after an unlicensed masseuse allegedly offered to perform a sex act on an undercover officer for a price.
“We don’t want that happening here,” said Coglianese. “Only if (the massages) are for medicinal purposes,” she added.
One business that is getting a warm reception from the village officials is Miller’s Ale House, which is scheduled to open Monday, May 9, at 6401 W. 95th St., on the perimeter of Chicago Ridge Mall.
This will be just the third Miller’s Ale House to open in Illinois.
Hans Bengyel, the general manager of the new restaurant, came to the village board meeting to request business and liquor licenses, which were granted.
Mayor Chuck Tokar noted that Miller’s will be replacing the Tilted Kilt restaurant that had been on the site, and will take over that liquor license.
Village Clerk George Schleyer said that he has already made plans to host a gathering of municipal clerks at the newly built restaurant next month.
After the mayor noted that it was originally slated to open in April, Bengyel said “We slowed down due to the recent bad weather, but everything is caught up now.”
He said the hiring process, being conducted at a site inside the mall, is wrapping up.
“Seventy employees have already been hired, and are being trained at the existing restaurants,” he said.
“Everything is going smoothly,” said the general manager.
The fact that the business owner did not ask for a video gaming license, something most restaurants seem to want these days, went over well with the board.
“We’re not putting in video gambling,” he said. “We’re a family restaurant with a sports theme.”