By Anthony Saude
Chino Hills– The Chino Hills planning commission approved a conditional use permit, earlier this month that would allow alcohol sales in a 20-seat bar area located in the lobby that will replace the arcade games.
Two members of the Chino Hills city council, Art Bennett and Ray Marquez are not on board with the decision. They have asked for an appeal of the planning commission’s decision to allow the sale of beer and wine at Harkins Theatre on Chino Avenue at the 71 Freeway.
The appeal hearing will take place during an in council chambers session at the next council meeting.
Beer and wine are classified as fermented beverages and not liquor. It was previously reported that Harkins was planning to sell liquor but have changed their tune and assure the Council that only beer and wine will be served.
A Harkins representative informed the commission that only beer and wine would be served, even though the conditional use permit stated liquor would also be served, according to community development director Joann Lombardo
Councilman Bennett said in a statement that he is concerned that drinking will take place in a setting where small children may be in the audience.
He says he isn’t against drinking but like some he feels it’s inappropriate for families going into a theater where beer and wine sales are taking place.
Patrons would be allowed to take their alcoholic drinks into the movie theaters but there is two-drink maximum allowed for safety purposes.
Harkins representative Alex Verkruijsse told the commission that there will be trained management staff monitoring the auditoriums in 30 minute intervals. Extra security will be provided on the weekends by guards that have law enforcement backgrounds.
The commission has been informed that the food menu will be expanded to include pizza, hot dogs, chicken tenders, and other food items.