Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sorry, it's a public thing

Let's give some credit to the Town of Brookfield for recognizing that the issue of the continued public nuisance known as Chuck E Cheese's is a matter for public concern, and not something to be discussed over coffee.

Town of Brookfield - Chuck E. Cheese corporate leaders traveled to meet with Town of Brookfield officials Tuesday regarding concerns about police calls to the company's Blue Mound Road restaurant, but no gathering occurred because the sides could not agree where to meet.

As a result, Town Administrator Richard Czopp said, town officials will begin the process of revoking the restaurant’s liquor license next week.

The company officials said they wanted to have a casual meeting at a coffee shop, and the town officials said the meeting amounted to town business that should occur at the Town Hall, Czopp said.

A company official confirmed Tuesday that representatives of the Texas-based CEC Entertainment Inc. canceled the meeting over concerns about where it would occur. CEC operates Chuck E. Cheese children’s party restaurants across the country.

I'm betting neither side wanted to meet at the restaurant for fear of being robbed.

I kept meaning to post a link to Tim Schilke's take on the Chuck E Cheese controversy:

First of all, can somebody tell me why a children’s pizza restaurant and arcade requires a liquor license? If ever the term "recipe for disaster" applied, this would be a fitting application of the phrase. Is this a place where kids can be kids, as Chuck E. Cheese’s marketing directly suggests? Or is this a place for adults to be adults? Is it possible to imagine a kid’s play area at the back of a roadhouse on a Saturday night? How about holding a rave with live bands at a day care center, to help stressed-out parents to take the edge off a busy day?

The town of Brookfield should give serious consideration to pulling the restaurant’s liquor license. A Chuck E. Cheese’s location on the south side of Milwaukee voluntarily stopped serving alcohol in early 2007, and that location has experienced a subsequent drop in violent incidents.

Mixing potentially hundreds of screaming kids, robotic fuzzy characters singing mind-numbing songs on stage, and too many frosty cold ones quickly lead to parents who all too willingly check out of the situation. Not that I can blame them.

The vision of checked-out parents leads me to root cause number two. As a parent of two children who love Chuck E. Cheese’s, I have some words of advice for other unfortunate souls who share my parental plight. Commit to the experience, and enjoy the games alongside your kids. This experience can be a nightmare on a busy day, and most of the other parents will be ignoring their kids from afar, gorging themselves on pizza and beer. You will feel like the lone civilized being on an island of cannibals, and you will be asked for free tokens from just about every unsupervised child who can catch your eye. But on the ride home, you will feel like a superhero, and deservedly so.

You'll want to read the rest just to learn how Tim handles the ticket exchange.