Fighting over suburban character: Show-Me’s in Naperville

One long-lasting idea about suburbs is that they are family-friendly places. So when a business comes to town that may not fit that image, some residents can become angered. Such is the case with a new restaurant that wants to move into Naperville:

Naperville residents will get a chance this week to formally voice their opinions about a controversial plan to open a restaurant called Show-Me’s, which opponents say will feature scantily clad waitresses who do not fit the city’s “family-friendly” image.

An open forum will be held during a Naperville Liquor Commission meeting Thursday.

But a group of about 30 people let their feelings be known during a demonstration Friday. Standing in front of the proposed site, they loudly chanted “Stop the show!” to passing cars.

The protesters have suggested this restaurant does not fit with the character of the community. The community’s mayor is on the record suggesting that he “thought it was a regular restaurant as far as I was concerned” and the clothing of the waitresses was “tastefully done.”

While this seems like just a small group of protesters, the question they raise is an interesting one: what exactly is a suburban community supposed to look like? What businesses and residents fit its image? As the mayor suggested, the proposed restaurant is not breaking any laws or rules so it would hard to reject their liquor license proposal. But necessarily following the rules or laws is not the concern of many suburbanites who have ideas about their ideal community. Local politicians have to account for (or at least acknowledge) these feelings and images even if the proposed business breaks no rules and brings in tax dollars.

(Additionally, it always interesting to read comments on stories about Naperville – it tends to bring out people who both intensely dislike and like the city.)

0 thoughts on “Fighting over suburban character: Show-Me’s in Naperville

  1. I found this so odd considering we have a Hooters in fox valley and a Tilted Kilt in Woodridge. I guess I consider the whole area one big community.


    • It would be interesting to know where these protesters live. My guess is that they live relatively close to this site and are worried about their children seeing it frequently.


  2. Pingback: What to do when a quiet suburb may have too many downtown bars | Legally Sociable

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