While trying to tighten the zoning codes to regulate strip clubs, adult book stores and other such venues, village officials have insisted that no one has ever inquired about actually setting up a stage for exotic dancers in Forest Park. A phone book listing for Dreamer’s Night Club on Roosevelt Road, however, suggests that the community may have only just avoided having nude dancers on one of its busiest commercial strips.
The 1-800 number listed for the business is still valid, though phone calls placed at various times this week were not answered. After ringing several times, the call is simply dropped.
Dreamer’s never actually opened at 7709 Roosevelt Rd., as advertised in the listing, instead locating at the corner of Lake Street and Mannheim Road in nearby Stone Park. The Stone Park address is now home to another strip club of a different name and it is unclear what happened to Dreamer’s.
Several municipal and business leaders in Forest Park said they were unaware of the Forest Park phone listing for Dreamer’s Night Club, and stuck to the story that the village has never received an application for a business license from a gentlemen’s club.Further, Mayor Anthony Calderone said he’s never been asked even informally by a prospective proprietor.
“I certainly would remember somebody talking to me about opening a strip bar in Forest Park,” Calderone said.
Laurie Kokenes, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and longtime community member, said she too, doesn’t recall any rumblings about the possibility of such a tawdry business. Kokenes said she does remember the scuttlebutt that surrounded an application from a tattoo artist looking to set up shop on Madison Street some 10 years ago, but not once were there rumors about Dreamer’s Night Club.
“Never,” Kokenes said. “Never even heard of it.”
The village is working on an amendment to the zoning code to regulate adult uses, but the subject is not expected to come to the zoning board or the village council for several months. Village Administrator Mike Sturino said such an ordinance is complicated because there are a number of constitutional issues to consider.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that communities can regulate such establishments, but not put an outright ban on them. It appears likely the village will attempt to restrict any nude dancing or the like to the area along Industrial Drive, an industrial park off of Desplaines Avenue, though a draft of the ordinance has not yet been penned.
Forest Park began reviewing the need for this amendment after the issue was raised by Commissioner Mike Curry, who said he noticed the problem while he was serving on the zoning board.
Curry, too, was surprised to learn that a strip club went so far as to advertise a location in Forest Park, but said he doesn’t recall there ever being any discussion of the possibility. He conceded he may not have been privy to those talks if they occurred.
“Unless I’m unaware of it, I don’t know any owners of strip clubs or adult book stores,” Curry said.
Dreamer’s Night Club in Stone Park was once located at 4003 Lake St. According to an Internet listing of area strip clubs, the address was also home to the Sugar Shack, which shared a now disconnected phone number with Dreamer’s that began with a 708 area code.
At www.metromix.com, a website that allows customers of a wide range of businesses to post online reviews, four such comments were posted for Dreamer’s in Stone Park. Those reviews were offered between October of 2002 and January 2003. Overall, the club received a three-star rating out of a potential five stars.
“I, speaking for myself, am emphatically against having any strip bars in Forest Park,” Calderone said.