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DuPage Co. strip club may go dry
By Jake Griffin | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/21/2008 9:14 AM | Updated: 10/21/2008 5:05 PM

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A DuPage County Board subcommittee unanimously has recommended closing a liquor law loophole that allows patrons of a strip club near West Chicago to bring in their own booze.

The adult businesses subcommittee met Tuesday morning and also recommended a minimum fine of $1,000 for each infraction.

"At some point we'll go to court to shut them down if the fines don't work and they won't follow the new ordinance," subcommittee Chairman Jim Zay said.

There was some discussion about creating special licenses for the county's adult businesses, but members decided that could be the next step if the fines prove futile.

Assistant State's Attorney Rick Veenstra drafted the change to the county's adult businesses ordinance and said fines could be set at a minimum of $250. However, board member Michael McMahon suggested maxing out the fine at $1,000 so everyone is fined the same.

"If we start at $1,000 then there's no judicial discretion," he said.

The fine would be levied against the club owner as well as the person who brought in the alcohol, Zay said.

The proposed change goes to the board's judicial and public safety committee for a vote next month before going to the full county board. Zay said he expects the issue to skate through committee

The law would only affect Diamonds Gentleman's Club near West Chicago, where dancers are allowed to perform completely nude because alcohol isn't sold on premises.

The owner of the club told board members last month that employees regulate the amount of alcohol patrons are allowed to bring into the club. Owner Ari Pomerantz said he was worried that patrons would drink more heavily before visiting the club if alcohol was banned at Diamonds.

The club is open to anyone 18 and older because no liquor is sold there. Pomerantz said he segregates patrons under 21 to a special area of the club to keep them away from alcohol.

However, Zay said the sheriff's office has cited a number of minors for drinking illegally at the club. The proposed change to the law would not bar anyone under 21 from being in the club.