STONE PARK, Ill. (CBS) — Some Roman Catholic nuns are trying to stop a planned strip club in west suburban Stone Park, but the owner of the establishment says they shouldn’t judge him.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the Get It strip club is supposed to open in the spring in the 3800 block of West Lake Street in Stone Park. Behind it live the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, or the Scalabrians.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
Bob Itzkow, the developer of the strip club, says he wants his business to be judge fairly by what it has done, and not by a mocking press, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
In a statement quoted in part by the Sun-Times, Itzkow referred to the nuns in the convent as “our non-tax-paying neighbors,” and asked that “you treat us as we have treated you, by not trying to unduly disturb us by imposing your religious beliefs on us or others.”
Last week, one of the nuns at the convent, Sister Marissonia Daltoe, said the planned strip club flies in the face of the religious life the nuns are trying to create.
“We are concerned about the neighborhood youth. There are plenty of problems in the area, and we don’t want to have another one,” Daltoe said.
Sister Marcana Zambiasi told CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov last week that the nuns don’t object only to the fact that the strip club would be in sight of their convent, but that it exists at all so close to a residential area.
“We are not concerned only about ourselves here, but about the neighborhood children,” Zambiasi said.
The nuns are not alone in their opposition to the strip club.
Ronald Serpico, the mayor of neighboring Melrose Park said, “I am shocked and sickened by the placement of an adult entertainment business immediately adjacent to residential areas of Melrose Park. The siting and construction of this business, which was authorized by the Village of Stone Park, was not only ill thought-out, but I can only assume that no consideration for neighboring residents was given at all.
For generations, the small suburb Stone Park has been infamous as a seedy place, with strip clubs and adult bookstores lining the major roadways, prostitutes working the streets, and organized crime figures running the show.
Legend has it that Al Capone himself ran a brewery in Stone Park during the Great Depression.
But current Stone Park Mayor Beniamino Mazzulla told the Sun-Times he is trying to shake the sleazy image in the town.
Following Itzkow’s latest comments, the Sun-Times reports the nuns are reflecting on what to do next.