Lakeview Residents Want To Get Rid Of Centro Restaurant

CHICAGO (CBS) — Some residents in the Lakeview neighborhood want a new restaurant shut down.

As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, residents say Centro, located at 3819 N. Ashland Av., brought noise and crime onto their street, but the restaurant says it’s being unfairly targeted.

“I have been witness to plenty of incidents outside of there,” Lakeview resident Thomas Dunaway said. “I’ve called the cops three times in one night; several different fights. It’s just a problem that isn’t going away.”

That’s how some people living near Centro feel about the business and they want it gone.

Dunaway and others said they’re so fed up with the alleged problems that they started an online petition to force Centro out of the neighborhood.

“The laundry list is the violence that has entered in our neighborhood, the constant noise, the fights, the vomit, the broken glasses all over our streets,” Dunaway said.

“I think a lot of it is just due to hearsay,” Centro manager Mike Melnick said. “A couple people come in, they don’t like something about it. They tell a friend that tells a friend that tells a friend. Something happened in the neighborhood, they want to connect it here. It is unfair.”

Centro’s manager said many claims made on the petition – of violence, gangs and drugs – are flat out false. He said neighbors just don’t like the late license or noise.

“I just wish the people that actually were on the petition come in and actually try the food and see what’s going on here,” Melnick said. “I can probably say more than half the people that signed the petition have never even set foot in here, which is entirely unfair.”

A Chicago police source said there have been 23 calls to the restaurant since it opened in early June – most because of noise.

Not every neighbor is against the restaurant.

“There’s some ruckus and there’s some commotion, just like any other bar,” Scott Goldberg said. “If you want to go out to Wrigleyville and go to Cubby Bear after the Cubs-Sox game, it’s gonna get wild, just like with out here.”

The fracas has gotten the attention of Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), whose sat in several meetings about concerns. His office said Centro’s owners agreed to move.

But Melnick denied that.

“As of right now, no. I mean, everything’s up in the air,” he said.

Melnick also said they want to work with neighbors, not alienate them.

More than 700 people have signed the petition and many insist the problems can’t be fixed.

More from Dana Kozlov
  • No Mercy

    Must attract a lot of brothers

  • Paul Simon

    Something tells me it’s all happening at the zoo. I DO believe it. I DO believe it’s true. And melanin is not a factor. The corpse at Irving and Ashland sort of is…bro.



  • Shuante

    If they don’t like it, maybe they can just move?

  • Lakeview resident

    I live down the street from Centro, and yes, I have eaten at the restaurant (when it first opened) and the food was good. What I do not like is what has happened since it opened. We have had a string of garage breakins (yes could be coincidental), but also drunk people breaking into our gated yard, several fights with the cops being called including the paddy wagon on a Sunday night a few weeks ago (after Cubs season) and general noise, broken glass and graffti. I enjoy going out late too, but I do not enjoy not feeling safe in my neighbhorhood. I find it telling that Centro requires at least 3 large security detail out front at night carrying what looks like guns and batons, I have not seen this at other “restaurants” and bars in the neighborhood.

  • Jim G

    From the article, it sounds like the owner of Centro expects (and maybe encourages?) it to “get wild” in his bar. That may be ok directly across the street from Wrgley Field, but this is a family neighborhood with children constantly present. It’s not ok to invite even the potential for the kind of violence that requires armed security guards to the neighborhood.

    There’s a reason that we in the community choose not to live at Addison and Clark. If I have to move from this corner of Lakeview for safety reasons, then so be it. It’s just sad that the owner of Centro doesn’t seem to care about the saftey of the community he expects patronage from. Oh, yeah, it’s not this community that supports his business. The violence is from surrounding members of communities who are coming in to go to this bar because it has a late-night liquor license. Seems to me there is a solution here somewhere.

  • Joe

    Check out It looks like a family restaurant to me. I think I’ll bring my 4 year old by for a burger and a side of stripper.

  • Aaron

    The businesses along Clark Street encourage, and try to top one another’s foolishness. Ashland simply isn’t that sort of business corridor. The Ten Cat’s Pool League has never spilled out onto Ashland with tire irons and truncheons. AJ Hudson and Keenan’s seem to be loud at times, but there’s no blood trails on their sidewalks.
    We’re not just talking about noise here, this is straight up violence. It wasn’t a problem before, and now it is. I have the feeling that Centro’s ownership will not accept that, and I expect Halloween, the Night Before Thanksgiving, and New Year’s to be pretty bad over here.

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