Prime Time Restaurant and Bar Closes Its Doors
The lights are out at Prime Time Restaurant and Bar.
No public announcement was made when Prime Time Restaurant and Bar closed earlier this week. The doors to the restaurant, set back from Route 30 at Joliet Highway, are locked and the lights are off in the bar where big screen TVs would normally be tuned into football, basketball, hockey or baseball games.
The owner, Angelo Gellis, was unavailable for comment.
Not quite two years old, the restaurant had its share of problems. Setting up shop in the former Bluestone Restaurant immediately posed a problem for Gellis. The former restaurant regularly sparked the ire of residents from the town home subdivision across the street. Loud music and bar room disagreements that ended in brawls outside left nearby residents concerned that the same situation would mark Prime Time's existence.
While the fear of loud music and outside disturbances was not repeated at Prime Time, Gellis still had problems making a profit. Try as he might, he was unable in the late summer of 2011 to convince village trustees to grant an hour extension to the 11 p.m. liquor license.
At a regular village meeting in September 2011, Gellis appealed to the board to consider his plight. "People were just disappointed. It was hard to tell them to go home in the middle of the game," Gellis said. "If a game goes into overtime they want to stay and watch. If they already know you close at 11 they might not come in for the game at all."
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At the same time, residents from Bluestone Bay town homes showed up to express their concerns about extending the restaurant's liquor license. Their memory of the former Bluestone Restaurant had left a bad taste in their mouths when it came to a restaurant that catered to the sports crowd. New Lenox police were regularly called to handle disturbances in the parking lot.
While the board refused to extend the liquor license, they did approve Gellis' request to keep the restaurant open an additional hour from 11 p.m. to midnight during the week and till 1 a.m. on the weekends.
Mayor Tim Baldermann said he strongly suspects the matter of the liquor license diminished Gellis' profit margin. "The location is difficult for a business that feels like it relies on a sports crowd.
"Because it's in a residential neighborhood, you have to respect the residents there." The village board was not going to extend Prime Time's license for that reason, Baldermann said.
Still, the location is "great" for a restaurant that caters to a general clientele.
The recent closure of two restaurants in town, Prime Time and Charley Horse Restaurant in early February, doesn't have the mayor worried. "We've had some very strong interest in the Charley Horse Restaurant."
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