NAPERVILLE, Ill. (STMW) — Naperville has lifted some restrictions imposed before Show-Me’s, a restaurant known for the skimpy attire worn by waitresses, was allowed to open earlier this year, city officials said Wednesday.
Originally required to close at midnight, the restaurant can now stay open until 1 a.m. weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. The initial license, which was granted with several restrictions, expired April 30, when all city liquor licenses must be renewed, City Attorney Margo Ely said.
“With their renewal, their hours are the same as everybody else in the city, the same as what the code is,” Ely said, adding that the city had no legal basis to keep the restricted hours in place.
Owners also are seeking permission to open an outdoor patio under the new license granted earlier this month, and the application is pending, city officials said.
However, the provision regarding dress code remains, Ely said. Servers must wear cuffed shorts and a t-shirt. At other Show-Me’s locations, waitresses wear a variety of clothing including spandex shorts and tops that bare their midriffs.
“We’re not aware of any charge or violation of the uniform requirement,” Ely said. Since the eatery opened Feb. 5, one verbal complaint about attire was delivered to the mayor and addressed, she said.
That complaint followed a visit to the restaurant by Michael Lovelace, who is president of the adjacent Copperfield Village Town Homes association. Lovelace said he was “disturbed” when a waitress sat down at his table. He said he later called the mayor’s office to complain.
“I went into the restaurant, it was a horrible experience,” Lovelace said. “On top of that they weren’t following the clothing guidelines and (the waitress) was wearing spandex shorts.”
Ely said his complaint was addressed, and the mayor had a meeting with Show-Me’s management. Ely said she did not know if the restaurant was in fact in violation of the dress code. Mayor George Pradel was traveling Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.
Show-Me’s Vice President Joel Hon said the longer hours, which began May 1, allow the location to be competitive with other establishments in the city.
“It’s wonderful,” he said. “Tremendous.”
He said he was contacted by the mayor to address the clothing complaint, but admitted he did not know if a violation had occurred. He said every member of the wait staff has the same uniform, and he believes the restaurant has been compliant.
Hon also said the restaurant has not had any problems that he is aware of with law enforcement, and that some residents have a “misconception” about Show-Me’s.
“We sell much more food than alcoholic beverages,” he said.
Naperville Police Sgt. Gregg Bell said the restaurant hasn’t raised any flags in the department.
“We haven’t had any problems over there at all,” he said.
Lovelace said he is upset the city was not more upfront about the possibility of longer hours and possible outdoor seating. He invoked a similar suburban controversy – a plan to put a Tilted Kilt in Evanston – and wonders why Naperville didn’t handle the issue in a similar manner.
“How were they able to keep them out and Naperville said there is no legal grounds to do that?” he said.
Councilman Doug Krause, who is a member of a recently formed liquor sub-committee in the city, said he was aware of the changes and opposes plans for outdoor seating.
“It’s not fair to the residents there before (Show-Me’s),” he said.
However, it will be Pradel who will have final say. As liquor commissioner, he has sole power to grant or deny that request.
© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed