Unholy neighbors: Strip club next door to convent comes under fire

Font Size:

The sisters of a Chicago-area convent and area residents are keeping the welcome wagon in the garage — and are instead protesting St. Charles Borromeo Convent’s new neighbor: a multimillion dollar strip club.

Hundreds gathered Thursday to protest the strip club in the Village of Stone Park, with a rally and candlelight vigil at the convent, FOX Chicago News reports.

“We say enough is enough, no more strip clubs in stone park,” one nun said to a crowd of about 300 people chanting “enough is enough.”

FOX Chicago News and the Better Government Association broke the story in February that a $3 million, 18,000 square foot strip club would be opening feet away from the convent.

Two years earlier the community voted to reject the club, but acquiesced following a lawsuit by the developer.

“It was something these individuals applied for, fought for zoning change, and something we were strongly against,” Stone Park Mayor Ben Mazzulla told FOX. “[We] voted no, because there was a convent there. It’s a religious order.”

According to the club owner, Bob Itzkow, zoning laws allowed it. Mazzulla explained it would have cost the town over a half million dollars to fight in court.

Despite the zoning regulations, the nuns did not know about the club until it was already going up.

“We are religious. We espouse certain beliefs,” Sister Marissonia Daltoe explained. “As Catholic religious we take vows, and we have something like this totally opposite going on.”

“We are here because we want to try to close down the strip club that they are trying to open because we don’t need anymore places like that in our community,” said protester Ayline Jimenez. “We would rather [have] something more efficient like more public schools, or libraries, or something that is going to help the community, not something that could, like, ruin us.”

The club is opening this spring.

Follow Caroline on Twitter