Reporting Dana Kozlov
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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.