Neighborhood group praises strip club for cleanliness
By Dawn Rhodes
A Northwest Side neighborhood group is catching grief over a recent decision to recognize a local strip club for improving the aesthetics of the area.
Albany Park Neighbors decided this month to give its “Block Star Business” award to the Admiral Theatre at 3940 W. Lawrence Ave. The award, according to the group’s website, spotlights businesses doing their part to keep the neighborhood clean and presentable.
The group says those business owners who keep a neat sidewalk and storefront, ensure there are enough trash cans for the business and reduce the amount of trash patrons bring into the neighborhood can be eligible for the award.
“Trashy streets impact quality of life for residents in Albany Park — but litter also negatively affects business, too,” the group’s Web page reads. “This effort helps our group of residents recognize and champion local businesses who are going above and beyond in the fight against litter, while also providing great customer service and going the extra mile for our community.”
The group announced the award on its Facebook page late Tuesday night, with a photo of one of its managers showing off the certificate. The post drew criticism from those who saw a juxtaposition of a strip club receiving a beautification award.
“Really?!” one man wrote. “This business has to go! They can take that porn shop down the street with them, too. It simply attracts the wrong crowd into the neighborhood.”
Group leaders countered that the awarded businesses are chosen by residents. The group collects nominations from its readers and the top four vote-getters receive the award throughout the year.
“Can honestly say nobody has ever, ever, ever nominated the adult bookstore,” the group wrote in response.
But some response has been positive as some residents, sometimes grudgingly, acknowledged that the Admiral’s exterior was cleaner than other stores nearby.
Seven other stores in the area also have received the award since late 2013, including Golden Crust Pizza and Tap, Lawrence Eye Care, Noon-O-Kabab and Andy’s Fruit Ranch.