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Barn and Company PPA License Opposed by Neighborhood Group

By Paul Biasco | May 22, 2014 8:51am | Updated on May 22, 2014 8:56am
 Barn and Company, 950 W. Wrightwood Ave.
Barn and Company, 950 W. Wrightwood Ave.
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LINCOLN PARK — An influential neighborhood group is opposing Lincoln Park's Barn and Company's effort to obtain a public place of amusement license, or PPA.

The barbecue restaurant and bar at 950 W. Wrightwood Ave. currently has an incidental liquor license, which requires a certain percentage of the revenue to come from food. This winter, the city issued three citations to Barn and Company, according to owner Carmen Rossi.

"All that we intend to do is continue to operate as we have," Rossi said at a Wrightwood Neighbors Association meeting last week. Rossi said he needed the license to host an acoustic guitar player during dinners, to host charity organizations and private ticketed events.

The Wrightwood Neighbors Association came out in opposition to the license, releasing a statement Wednesday that said neighbors were concerned it would change the nature of the business.

"I think the biggest concern was that Barn, which is right now a restaurant, is moving away from that into more of a late night event-driven model," said Bridget Orsic, president of the Wrightwood Neighbors Association.

A PPA license is needed for a variety of businesses including live theaters, concert halls, comedy clubs, businesses with two or more pool tables, nightclubs, karaoke and DJs.

A spokeswoman with the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection said the department did not release information about any previous fines or citations while a business's application was pending.

Rossi could not be reached for comment Wednesday on the neighborhood opposition.

At last week's meeting, he said the city advised Barn and Company to get a PPA and so they applied for one.

"Now, if you have a Blackhawks game on and chose to put music on during the commercials, that is considered music control, or as the city puts it, a DJ," Rossi said.

Another neighborhood establishment, the Wild Hare, applied for a PPA license in August 2012 and remains in a legal fight with the city.

Neighbors including the Wrightwood Neighbors Association objected to that business getting the license, but a judge ruled the city was unjust in rejecting the license. 

The city appealed that ruling, and the matter remains in the courts.