The Hohlastos family is just trying to keep the American dream alive.

The family’s patriarch, Samy, was the first of them to dream the dream, the Hohlastos recalled in a Facebook post. He did this by opening a bar and naming it after himself.

In their effort to keep dreaming the American dream, Samy’s family changed the name of the bar to Anthony’s Restaurant and Pub. There, they serve “delicious food in generous portions at very reasonable prices.”

Who knows why the Hohlastos family changed the name of the place from Samy’s to Anthony’s. But looking back through some of the old stories in The Herald-News, you see this about Samy’s: “A young woman was hit in the face with a shovel during a brawl at a West Side bar.” The West Side bar, incidentally, was Samy’s.

Later in the story it says, “Yet another man told police that he clubbed the shovel-wielding man in the head with a beer bottle, and that he did this in ‘self-defense,’ ” and also, “This man told police that ‘some bald dude’ had grabbed the shovel and hit the young woman and that she lost consciousness.”

Also there was this one: “A Shorewood man looking to buy cocaine at a far West Side bar tangled with another customer and ran afoul of the law Tuesday morning, police said.”

Again, the West Side bar happened to be Samy’s. There’s more where those came from, but that’s enough for now. Besides, it’s probably just the media and how they look to sensationalize things with headlines, trying to sell papers or encourage clicks.

Anyway, that’s the way the Hohlastos have it figured with the way things have been going lately with Anthony’s.

To make it even worse, while the media has been busy sensationalizing everything at Anthony’s, the Hohlastos said, “They have largely ignored the violence that plagues our city and the utter contempt and disrespect many have exhibited toward law enforcement.”

I don’t know about the media ignoring criminal activity. But the liquor commissioner, who also is the mayor, sure seemed to be doing some ignoring. At least around Anthony’s, which used to be Samy’s.

The cops were sent over to Anthony’s 132 times starting about two years and two months ago up to around last call on an early Sunday in July. That time, in the bar’s parking lot at close to 3 a.m., one woman was shot in both her legs and another got stabbed in the face. And that apparently is where the city of Joliet draws the line.

Joliet’s leaders would ignore the violence that plagues our city no longer. They went ahead and took away the extra hour that Anthony’s had been allowed to stay open on weekends. Anthony’s now must shut its doors at 2 a.m., which was about 40 minutes or so before women were getting shot in the legs and stabbed in the face last month.

Anthony’s also can’t have live entertainment anymore, which is too bad for the mayor, whose band, Hot Mess, was slated to play at Anthony’s at least one time, according to Anthony’s Facebook page.

In fact, the page said, Hot Mess and Mayor Bob O’Dekirk were to perform there the weekend before somebody shot up the parking lot during a fight in February. Nobody got shot in the legs that time, but a bullet did hit one of the bar’s windows.

There was a Facebook post on the restaurant’s page from the Hohlastos family about that shooting, too. It said, “Last night, we had some ill-tempered customers get out of hand. Your safety is paramount when visiting our establishment! After last night’s events, we want to re-commit to providing you a safe place to spend time with your family and friends.”

Five months later, it still wasn’t so safe, at least not for the woman shot in the legs or the one stabbed in the face.

Anthony’s got a pass on the gunman shooting up the parking lot in February. Maybe because no one got hurt that time. Maybe for some other reason. But now they’ve lost an hour on the weekends and can’t have the mayor’s band play anymore, and the family cries about sensational headlines to sell papers.

But can you blame them? How are the Hohlastos supposed to make money selling drinks into the early hours of the morning when there are headlines about what’s going on out in the parking lot, stories making things out like they’re way worse than they really are? It’s not like anybody got smacked in the face with a shovel in years.

• Joseph Hosey is the news editor of The Herald-News.

Original Article