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Big Chief Restaurant on Path to Reopen in Wildwood

A liquor license application for Big Chief Restaurant on Manchester Road's historic Route 66 in Wildwood leads to public hearing Tuesday night.

Due to close proximity to l and , the new owners' request for a liquor license required a public hearing. The hearing was held Tuesday evening at the Wildwood city council meeting.

Wildwood city clerk Lynne Green-Beldner said all police and zoning-related matters for the restaurant had been approved.

City Council member Ron James, Ward 6, said the current owners had spent quite a bit of money remodeling the restaurant. "I hope it can reopen soon, as its a historic restaurant along Route 66. I wish them good luck."

The restaurant building has been in place since 1929, and is listed on the national register of historic places.

When City Council member Larry McGowen, Ward 1, brought up two concerns about noise, the current restaurant owner was sworn in and invited to the public podium. McGowen said some residents who live in the area nearest the restaurant had problems with outdoor music played on the patio and loud revs of motorcycle-based diners. He admitted that he, too, rode a Harley Davidson motorcycle, so understood how those noise-related matters can develop.

The present owners took possession of the building March 4, and it has been closed since for remodeling.

The current owner, Stephanie Mulholand, said she does not have a permit to play music and that she believe the previous owner did so illegally. She said it was not her intention to play outdoor music.

Mulholand said she had been contacted by several groups from Chicago to California—Bike Clubs, Classic Cars and Corvette Clubs—about stopping at Big Chief along their routes. She said she did not anticipate problems with noise levels.

City Council member David Geile, Ward 1, said neighbors in that area are not shy about calling police, if issues arise.

Capt. Kenneth Williams, , said a total of five calls were received earlier this year related to Big Chief when it was managed by the previous owners. He said three calls were due to loud noises.

D May 30, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Seems if motorcyle and antique car rallys are on the menu, perhaps they should not be permitted until after the last day of school if there are transportation and/or road or child safety concerns. Regarding the liquor license, proximity to school is a concern, but there should be at a minimum no minors allowed in the bar area in my opinion. It is a great historic place, but does seem to have lost some of it's family-friendliness over the past few years.

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