3 more businesses join lawsuit against Pritzker over indoor dining restrictions


Patrick Murphy | Northern Star

Fatty’s Pub & Grille, 1312 W. Lincoln Highway, has shifted to curbside carry-out in light of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s order to close all dine-in bars and restaurants in Region 1.

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB — Three more DeKalb County businesses are joining a lawsuit to sue Governor J.B. Pritzker and Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, over restrictions to shut down indoor dining that started Saturday. 

Rambo’s Bar & Grill, 140 W. Market St., Somonauk; Uncle Milty’s Pizza Palace, 138 W. Market St., Somonauk; and Karlsbad Tavern, 413 W. Main St., Genoa, are joining the seven other businesses included in the lawsuit, lawyer Bradley Melzer said. 

Melzer said the businesses won’t be added to the lawsuit until they go before a judge at 9:15 a.m. Friday. He said other business owners in DeKalb County have expressed interest in joining the lawsuit and expects to have additional businesses added in the future. 

“This is not a political lawsuit,” Melzer said. “This is a lawsuit about fairness to the businesses of DeKalb County as it regards to the rest of the health Region 1.” 

On Sept. 29, Pritzker announced that Region 1 was to undergo “resurgence mitigations” following an increase in test positivity rate of 8% or above for three consecutive days. DeKalb County, however, had a positivity rate of 6.8%, 7.2% and 6.9% for three consecutive days, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health

Other businesses included in the lawsuit are Fatty’s Pub & Grill, the Lincoln Inn in DeKalb, Faranda’s Banquet Center in DeKalb, the Junction Eating Place in DeKalb, Ellwood Steakhouse in DeKalb, El Jimador Mexican Grill in DeKalb, MVP Sports Bar in Sycamore and Remington Gastropub in Malta. 

In the lawsuit filed on Oct. 1, business owners stated that the governor’s actions to prohibit indoor seating and other mitigation efforts are “unlawful” and “unconstitutional.”

The owners also requested a temporary restraining order to block the new restrictions put in place for DeKalb County. Judge Bradley Waller denied the request last week, according to court documents. 

Melzer said he believes the judge will look at the law and the facts for each individual business or the businesses as a whole. 

“I think as a business community, and as bars and restaurants, certainly they have to make a decision of whether they are interested in joining the suit or not,” Melzer said. “We are not adding these restaurants to put pressure on the judge that is not the goal.”