Eric Malone, owner of Tavern on La Grange, listens as city attorney James Hess discusses an agreement that has the business paying Countryside more than $14,000 in fines and code violations. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Eric Malone, owner of Tavern on La Grange, listens as city attorney James Hess discusses an agreement that has the business paying Countryside more than $14,000 in fines and code violations. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Tavern on La Grange to pay Countryside $14,350 in fines

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By Steve Metsch

The company that owns Tavern on La Grange have agreed to a settlement with the City of Countryside that will cost them thousands of dollars.

The $14,350 covers unpaid fines and building code violations.

A deal hammered out during a Nov. 1 hearing resulted in the fines being cut in half.

One of the Tavern on La Grange owners, Eric Malone, declined comment after the hearing.

Tavern on La Grange, 5403 S. La Grange Road, is a popular nightspot that often offers live music, especially on weekend nights when it draws big crowds.

James Hess, an attorney representing the city, said Tavern Hospitality Group Holdings LLC was served notice on Oct. 27, the Friday before the hearing.

The settlement, Hess said, will have the city sustain charges against the business provided the agreement is paid off.

Under the agreement, the owners will pay what they owe for food and beverage taxes by Nov. 17, Hess said.

“They will complete all building and fire code repairs as outlined,” Hess said.

“Those are building code violations and issues that were found by the city in their inspection, and fire code violations that were found,” Hess said.

All the repairs have to be completed by Nov. 15, Hess said.

“The city would have discretion as it relates to all aspects of elevator repairs as they involve a third party,” Hess said.

The Tavern on La Grange will pay the city $7,175 by Nov. 17 and another $7,175 by Dec. 15, Hess said.

After the hearing, City Administrator Gail Paul said the amount of debt grew so large because city citations had been ignored and fines were levied.

Included were inspections of the elevator and kitchen equipment, she said.

In another hearing, the owners of Bella Banquets and Via Bella Restaurant, 5412 S. La Grange Road, agreed to settle with the city regarding overdue payments of unpaid taxes and water bills.

Unpaid water bills totaled $3,623.92 from June 1 to October 10, Hess said. The debt was paid in full after the owner was served notice on Oct. 27 about the hearing.

Unpaid taxes were $29 to $39 a month from May through September. Those have also been paid in full.

The city could fine the owners, suspend or even revoke the business license if the debt had not been paid, Hess said.

“We have received full payment is my understanding,” Mayor Sean McDermott said.

He asked what actions should be taken. Hess recommended not suspending or revoking the business license.

Ald. John Von Drasek (3rd) wasn’t happy with seeing the business before the council for another hearing on unpaid bills.

“I know this isn’t the first time and I feel like it won’t be the last. In terms of moving forward, what do we do?” Von Drasek said.

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