Image source: YouTube
In the city of Chicago, a restaurant owner is in turmoil after the city decided to revoke his license during a legal dispute about his restaurant.
The source of the conflict? A debate whether the venue was a restaurant or a nightclub.
Rashad Bailey is an entrepreneur who finally realized his restaurant dream last year when he opened Dinner and a Movie last year.
Dinner and a Movie was based in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, serving waffles, booze, movies and music.
According to the founder, the venue hosts class reunions and birthday parties to celebrate Black love and gatherings.
Although Dinner and a Movie sounds like one of the best places in town, it has been the subject of complaints from neighbors.
Those who live near the property have reported noise coming from the restaurant.
Since Dinner and a Movie opened its doors to customers, it has been the scene of several fights.
In June 2021, a shootout erupted after a brawl broke out. Fortunately, no one was hit.
In the last week of July, the Department of Business and Consumer Protection issued the ultimatum to revoke Dinner and a Movie’s business license.
The decision comes after months of dispute in which the department said the restaurant operated more like a tavern.
It is also noted that Bailey took no action to address noise complaints.
What Rashad Bailey had to say
Amid all the people complaining about the noise and violence in the restaurant, founder Rashad Bailey maintains that his business was targeted by police upon opening.
“This year, (during hearings with the city), I found out I had about 10 undercover officers in my restaurants within a week’s time of me opening with no incidents happening,” he revealed.
Bailey also said Chicago police would harass his restaurant, often showing up unannounced in large numbers.
A month after the shooting by Dinner and a Movie, a video clip saw police entering the restaurant.
However, Dinner and a Movie was closed during the incident.
Rashad Bailey pointed out that the Chicago Commercial Department began investigating the restaurant not too long after it opened – the reading being that the venue sold alcohol beyond its license.
At the time, the department denied Bailey’s restaurant privileges to serve lunch and operate after midnight.
Bailey also blamed the neighbors for closing Dinner and a Movie, saying they made false complaints because of the large Black customer base.
“This is racism,” Bailey said.
“They’re putting crime and the problems of the city on me. They see Black music, Black people, and they think that’s the problem.”
Meanwhile, Yelp reviews on Dinner and a Movie wrote that the restaurant only offered a limited menu, conducted security pats at the entrance, and charged an additional fee for coverage.
Rashad Bailey said that he was finished fighting town hall. He also decided he will leave Chicago.
“Because Dinner and a Movie was Black,” he said. “The Black birthday is a problem and some days, we are.”
“I told someone else, there are people out here in Chicago that shoot people and reb people, and they are savages and should be locked up.”
“Because hardworking Black people, we don’t want to deal with that, and they group us together,” Bailey added. “I don’t want to deal with that.”