Community Protests Strip Club Near Convent

Sisters of the convent and their supporters want the club's permits revoked, and claim they were never given legal notice of the project.

Thursday, Mar 22, 2012  |  Updated 11:24 PM CDT
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Hundreds of people gathered in west suburban Stone Park on Thursday evening to protest the upcoming opening of a strip club that's adjacent to a convent. The sisters of the convent and their supporters want the club's permits revoked, and claim they were never given legal notice of the project. The club's owner said the venue will bring much-needed jobs.

Hundreds of people gathered in west suburban Stone Park on Thursday evening to protest the upcoming opening of a strip club that's adjacent to a convent. The sisters of the convent and their supporters want the club's permits revoked, and claim they were never given legal notice of the project. The club's owner said the venue will bring much-needed jobs.

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Hundreds of people gathered in west suburban Stone Park on Thursday evening to protest the upcoming opening of a strip club that's adjacent to a convent.

The sisters of the convent and their supporters want the club's permits revoked, and claim they were never given legal notice of the project.

"It makes me feel sad because they don't have any consideration for the community here in Stone Park," said Sister Noemi Silva of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borreomeo -- Scalabrinians.

The club's owner said the club will bring much-needed jobs.

"We're going to create jobs for waiters and waitresses and bus boys and janitors and maintenance workers and parking lot attendants, you know, the kind of jobs that people need," said the club's owner, Bob Itzkow.

The club is tentatively called "Get It" and will feature partially nude performers and alcohol. It would sit adjacent to the convent, fewer than two feet from the nuns’ property, which sits partially in Stone Park and partially in Melrose Park.

It sought approval from the town in 2010, and the village attorney said there were two public hearings held on the matter. Stone Park officials said that while they weren't required, notification letters were sent out. Those letters, however, were sent to the wrong address because of an apparent Cook County error.

Town officials said they met all other legal requirements, though Mayor Beniamino Mazzulla told the Sun-Times he signed on to the deal only after a 2010 lawsuit against Stone Park by developers.

The club is scheduled to open April 1, but the sisters said they're hoping something will change in the next week.

"You know, miracles happen. My dream is that this place will turn into a library for Stone Park, which we don't have one right now," said Silva.

Another strip club sits down the street from the one still being built.
 

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