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Local News

Police called to Anthony's 132 times over three years

JOLIET – Police have had 132 calls for service to Anthony's Restaurant and Pub in the last three years, a city official said Tuesday.

Those incidents include two shootings this year, one that occurred early Sunday in which a woman was shot twice in the leg. In February, shots were fired outside during a late-night incident, one hitting a window at the restaurant.

Interim City Attorney Chris Regis said he is reviewing the 132 calls for police service, which range from "someone getting locked out of their car" to serious incidents.

"Tomorrow (Wednesday), I hope to make a determination of the course of action we're going to take," Regis said.

Police have asked the city to review Anthony's liquor license in light of the two shootings and other past incidents, Police Chief Brian Benton said.

"Obviously, this is the type of behavior that we can't condone in any of our liquor establishments," Benton said.

Anthony's is located at 3151 Voyager Lane in the heart of the retail and restaurant district that surrounds the Louis Joliet Mall. The shooting at about 2:40 a.m. Sunday occurred during a fight that started in the restaurant's parking lot and spread across the street to the parking lot of Toys R Us.

In addition to the woman shot in the leg, another woman was stabbed in the face.

February shots

In the shooting incident on Feb. 5, several shots were fired in the parking lot, according to police. No one was injured, but one bullet hit a a window of the restaurant.

That incident also occurred in the overnight hours – at 12:30 a.m. on a Sunday. Police at the time said staff had reported a fight in the parking lot.

Anthony's ability to serve liquor depends on a license issued through Mayor Bob O'Dekirk's office. The mayor also serves as the city's liquor commissioner.

Regis said no action was taken against Anthony's by the liquor commission for the Feb. 5 incident.

"As I recall, we couldn't figure out if the shot was fired from in the parking lot or outside the property," Regis said. "We decided to give them the benefit of the doubt at the time. So, here we are now."

Anthony Hohlastos, who identified himself as the owner of the restaurant, said Anthony's will try to ensure safety by employing off-duty police officers for security. He told The Herald-News on Monday that the Sunday shooting occurred on the first night in a month that off-duty police were not used for weekend security.

Hohlastos would not comment on the 132 calls to police for service at his business.

Samy's Lounge

The location had a history of trouble when it operated previously as Samy's Lounge.

In May 2012, then Mayor Thomas Giarrante suspended Samy's liquor license for two nights because of an underage drinking incident. Giarrante said he wanted to send a message to liquor establishments throughout Joliet about underage drinking but he also noted past problems at Samy's.

In October 2012, Samy's Lounge lost its permit to stage live entertainment and stay open extra hours while also being fined $1,000 for a number of violations.

Samy's later closed and reopened in 2014.

"It's completely different management and ownership," Hohlastos said.

Regis said he did not have information immediately available on who owned Samy's Lounge. But a liquor license application in 2013 was made by Samy's Lounge Inc. doing business as Anthony's Bar and Restaurant, he said.

The restaurant has regained its entertainment and extra hours permits. The extra-hour permit allows Anthony's to stay open on Saturday nights until 3 a.m. Sunday.

In 2015, Anthony's was allowed to open a beer garden.

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