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02/01/95 ROLLIN FOODS v. VILLAGE GLENDALE HEIGHTS

February 1, 1995

ROLLIN FOODS, INC., AS GENERAL PARTNER OF CODY COYOTES RESTAURANT, LTD., PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
THE VILLAGE OF GLENDALE HEIGHTS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT (DU PAGE COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY, DEFENDANT, AND THE ILLINOIS LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION, INTERVENOR-APPELLANT).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 92-CH-820. Honorable John S. Teschner, Judge, Presiding.

Released for Publication March 2, 1995.

The Honorable Justice Doyle delivered the opinion of the court: Bowman and Colwell, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Doyle

JUSTICE DOYLE delivered the opinion of the court:

This case arose after police officers arrested three employees of a restaurant and bar for allegedly violating the "Happy hours prohibited" statute, section 6-28 of the Liquor Control Act of 1934 (Act) (235 ILCS 5/1-1 et seq. (West 1992)). Following the arrests, plaintiff, Rollin Foods, Inc., filed an action for declaratory judgment and injunction in the circuit court of Du Page County. At issue is whether section 6-28 of the Act prohibited plaintiff from conducting a ladies' buffet night in its restaurant and bar.

Defendant, the Village of Glendale Heights (Village), and intervenor, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (Commission) (collectively, defendants), appeal from an order of the circuit court in favor of plaintiff. The order determined that the relevant subsections of section 6-28 were constitutional and that section 6-28 did not prohibit the ladies' buffet night. On appeal, the sole issue is whether the trial court was correct in its judgment that section 6-28 did not prohibit the ladies' buffet night.

Cody Coyotes is a restaurant and bar in the Village. Plaintiff is the general partner in a limited partnership which owns and operates Cody Coyotes.

On the evening of August 13, 1992, Cody Coyotes offered a "Ladies' Buffet Night" for the first time. During the ladies' buffet night, women, as they entered Cody Coyotes, could pay $3 to purchase a buffet dinner with unlimited alcoholic drinks included. Women who purchased the buffet received a plastic cup as they entered. The women could use the plastic cup for unlimited free drinks for the night. Men who entered Cody Coyotes that night were required to pay a $3 cover charge, but they could not partake of the buffet, and they were required to pay the regular price for drinks. Women could enter Cody Coyotes without paying the cover charge, but they could not partake of the buffet and did not receive a plastic cup entitling them to free drinks.

The buffet was set up on a counter approximately 15 feet long near the kitchen in Cody Coyotes. The buffet consisted of bratwurst, hot dogs, egg rolls, Swedish meatballs, pizza, chicken nuggets, and various salads. A Cody Coyotes' employee oversaw the buffet.

During the ladies' buffet night, four Village police officers inplain clothes entered Cody Coyotes. The officers each paid $3 to enter. Upon entering, Cody Coyotes' employees gave each of the two female officers an empty plastic cup which they used to obtain an unlimited number of drinks of alcoholic liquor without additional payments. Cody Coyotes' employees informed the two male officers that the plastic cups were for women only. In order to get a drink of alcoholic liquor, the male officers were required to pay for each individual drink they ordered at the regular price. The police officers subsequently arrested three Cody Coyotes employees and charged them with violating section 6-28.

On August 25, 1992, plaintiff filed a two-count complaint against the Du Page County State's Attorney and the Village. The circuit court later dismissed the State's Attorney with prejudice. The Commission subsequently intervened.

Count I of plaintiff's complaint sought declaratory relief. Count II sought injunctive relief. Plaintiff contended that subsection (c) of section 6-28 was unconstitutionally vague and sought a declaration that the statute was unconstitutional. Alternatively, plaintiff contended that even if the statute was not unconstitutional, it did not prohibit the ladies' buffet night.

On June 30, 1993, the trial court issued an oral ruling. The court stated that it had concluded that section 6-28 was constitutional on its face and that plaintiff's conduct in offering the ladies' buffet night did not violate the statute. The trial judge directed the parties to draft an order in accordance with his ruling. However, the trial judge did not sign a written order at that time.

On September 28, 1993, after the parties had filed cross-motions for summary judgment, the trial judge signed and entered a written order. The order stated that the relevant subsections of section 6-28 were constitutional, that plaintiff's conduct did not violate section 6-28, and ...


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