A restaurant chain is planning a major expansion in Illinois — with a goal of opening as many as 150 locations in the state over the next three years.

It’s locations — mainly in strip malls with supermarkets — are designed to look like grandma’s kitchen and — according to a story in Chicago Real Estate Daily — attract mainly female customers over the age of 35.

But you can bet that Dotty’s Cafe won’t be opening in the Evanston Plaza or another Evanston location any time soon.

That’s because the “homey” cafe’s also feature video gaming terminals — as now permitted under state law in Illinois for restaurants that also serve liquor.

The booze is no problem for Evanston, where officials came to terms with Demon Rum decades ago. But Lady Luck’s a different story.

Aldermen here rushed to ban video gaming under a local option provision soon after the change in state law went into effect in 2009.

Dotty’s already has about 175 locations in Nevada, Montana and Oregon.


Chain of ‘homey’ gambling cafes makes big suburban push (Chicago Real Estate Daily)

Evanston city code gambling provisions

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Dotty’s, another clone of Denny’s etc.

    Apparently, appealing to the lowest common denominator is a popular method for making money. Beyond that Dotty has little to offer. Their menu is identical to every other "family restaurant" replete with saturated fat, excessive sugar and salt, all in the same old "American" menu geared to inducing heart disease and stroke, not to mention obesity. 

    One must be a little "dotty" to actually want to eat there. 

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *