LuLu’s Place issued gaming license — two years after filing application

The owner of an East Dundee business has finally won approval to offer video gaming, two years after she first requested a license.

Louise Rycraft was awarded a village liquor license in 2015 for LuLu’s Place at 210 Penny Ave. with the expectation she would then be issued a video gaming license from the state, according to village documents.

 State law allows any establishment with a license to serve alcohol for on-site consumption to apply to the Illinois Gaming Board for a gaming license.

But Rycraft was delayed for two years by the state due to the proximity of LuLu’s Place to Dolly’s Cafe, a video gambling establishment that she also owns in the same strip mall, according to village documents.

In a memo to the Village Board, Police Chief Terry Mee said he recommended approval of the license.

“Although the village has expressed an interest in not adding any additional ‘gaming cafes,’ this one should be approved, in my opinion, based on past village promises made,” he said.

Mee echoed the same sentiments at Monday’s meeting.

But Trustee Jeff Lynam, who voted against approval, cited the village’s recent decision to put a cap on video gambling licenses. In September, the village code was amended to limit the number of gaming permits and liquor licenses to those currently in use, requiring all new applicants to come before the board.

“We had a restriction put in place for a reason,” Lynam said. “I’m not sure what advised us to have locations like this next door to each other. To be honest with you, the small town of East Dundee is oversaturated with these things.”

He voted against issuing the license as did trustees Kirstin Wood and Kathleen Mahony.

LuLu’s Place will join three other strictly video gaming establishments in East Dundee. The others are Royals, 505 Dundee Ave., Sasa’s Bistro, 472 Dundee Ave., and Dolly’s, 210 Penny Ave.

“I would not foresee any additional such cafe licensing by the village,” Mee said. “LuLu’s was as much a ‘grandfathering’ application and approval as it was anything else.”

Erin Sauder is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News. Erin Sauder  |  Elgin Courier-News

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