A Lincoln Park restaurant has been forced to close by Chicago police after shots were fired and a large group of people fought outside the venue late Saturday night. No one was struck by the gunfire, but several people were overcome by pepper spray during the altercation, according to a CPD spokesperson.
Police initially responded around 11:58 p.m. to calls of people fighting in front of Dinner And A Movie, 2500 North Ashland, according to a CPD report. Officer Ronald Westbrooks, a police spokesperson, said a fight broke out inside an establishment and spilled onto the street. Westbrooks did not identify the business by name.
As the fight unfolded, a man stepped out of a car and fired about 17 rounds toward the business, Westbrooks said. No people were struck, but police found shell casings lying on Altgeld Street just east of Ashland Avenue.
The melee reportedly continued and a woman sprayed mace as officers tried to control the brawl, Westbrooks said. An officer at the scene said “a bunch” of people were maced, but none required hospital treatment, according to Westbrooks.
Police ordered the business to shut down and issued a summary closure notice due to the shooting incident, Westbrooks said. The venue is required to remain closed until the city holds a hearing, he said.
The man who fired the shots is a Black male in his early 30’s who wore a white t-shirt and blue jeans. He was in a gray Chrysler 300 with two other men and a woman, Westbrooks said.
The city approved Dinner And A Movie’s liquor license plan in November, according to public records. City documents show the business is supposed to operate primarily as a restaurant, with liquor service being incidental to its food operation.
However, social media video posted from inside the venue shortly before the shooting shows people dancing on furniture, plastic tubs of chilled mixers like orange juice, and drinks being consumed. Little to no food is visible in the clips from late Saturday.
A video tour of the property posted to Facebook last month suggests the “bar” is associated with a former basketball player, but state records show the business is owned by someone else.