Rockford aldermen vote against Charles Street gaming parlor

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

A pair of business owners couldn’t gather the support they needed at City Hall Monday to serve serve beer and wine and offer video gaming at their planned coffee shop.

Brothers Benny and Phil Salamone fell two votes shy of a liquor license, which would have allowed them to turn their vacant building, at 2320 Charles St., into a video gaming parlor called Ceasar’s Place Coffee and Slots.  The brothers planned to spend $250,000 to remodel the old service station for gaming.

Aldermen aren’t ready to ad to the 80 gaming locations already in the city—at least not before they meet to discuss the influx of applications. Leaders say they need a better plan to control signage and neighborhood concentration of slot parlors.

“We really need to get in front on this issue now and hold off on anything until we can meet,” Fourth Ward Ald. Kevin Frost (R) said, before voting “no” on what the council says will be the last liquor license application it considers before the September meeting.

The city still wants to purchase three buildings owned by S&L Warshawsky for parking across from the future Ziock Building hotel. According to county tax records, the Warshsawsky buildings at 431 S. Main St., 501 S. Main St., and 319 Cedar St., are assessed at around $340,000. The city has made an offer to purchase the structures, and has agreed to pay to relocate the 70-year-old muffler and brake business to another building.

Those talks have stalled, although details have have not been released. Last week, aldermen voted 13-0 to use power of eminent domain if negotiations fail.

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