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Owner Of Upscale Steakhouse Defends Decision To Ban Guns

By Anthony Todd in News on Aug 1, 2013 5:40PM

Photo via Shutterstock.
Glenn Keefer, owner of Keefer's Restaurant in River North, has gotten quite a bit of flack for his decision not to allow concealed weapons in his establishment. Rather than lie down and take it because the customer knows best, Keefer has penned an essay for Crain's defending his position — and it's a good read for anyone on either side of the conceal carry debate.

The Tribune reported earlier in the week that customers are threatening to boycott Keefer's because of the "No Weapons" sign that Keefer posted on his door. Guns are not automatically banned at restaurants that make less than 50 percent of their revenue from alcohol sales - business owners have to actually post a notice.

First, and it's depressing that this is necessary, Keefer defended his patriotic cred in Crain's.

First of all, and it's absurd that we even have to state this, we are not unpatriotic. Our dad's Navy service flag has hung over our restaurant's bar for more than 12 years. He taught us how to use firearms properly.

After discussing his personal experiences with violent customers in restaurants, he gets to the meat of the issue — why the bar/restaurant distinction is meaningless for gun laws.

The bill approved by Illinois' General Assembly permits concealed-carry in bars and restaurants (including family restaurants) having less than 50 percent of gross receipts from the sale of alcohol. This is irresponsible and implies that the guest drinking chardonnay at a high-end restaurant can't become just as impaired as the customer drinking whiskey and beer at a corner tavern.

He also says that he "hates to lose the business" but will stick by his choice. Read the whole essay here.