Only in Harvey.
Only in Harvey could a new business secure city council approval as a "family restaurant sports bar" and actually do business as an illegal strip club in a boarded-up medical building for eight months.
As the mayor claimed ignorance about what was afoot at Assets, WGN's Mark Suppelsa brought an undercover camera into the club and laid bare for all to see what was really going down after dark in Harvey.
G-string clad pole dancers.
In a dilapidated building only open 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on weekends.
With a billboard featuring photos of scantily clad babes plastered on a truck out front.
Approved on a 4-3 vote by the city council in October, Mayor Eric Kellogg cast the tie-breaking vote to approve the business and grant a liquor license over the objections of aldermen who questioned why the "restaurant" at 17100 S. Halsted St. would have an abundance of small private offices.
"A restaurant like Hooters or Buffalo Wings sounds exciting," said Alderwoman Shirley Drewenski at that meeting. "But I need some clarity. … How is it going to be like Hooters, if the utility closet is larger than the kitchen size?
"And I really don’t think it’s going to be like a Hooters or a Buffalo Wings with 22 private offices."
But Kellogg didn't see an issue and approved the business, owned by Kim Kenner-Wash, a Chicago rapper and daughter of Tyrone Kenner, a now-deceased, bribe-taking former Chicago alderman.
Wash, aka "Baby Girl," rapped with the group Hoez With Attitude.
Did we mention that in 2011 Kellogg collected a $1,500 campaign contribution from Wash, who also owns a strip club on the other side of town called King of Diamonds? Wash, who ran an adult daycare center in town, was one of the largest campaign contributors to the mayor, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Kellogg and the city spokesman said the city had no inkling Assets — which opened just a stone's throw from Club O, one of Harvey's legit strip clubs — was doing business as a nudie bar.
After WGN 9 News aired its report and questioned the incredulous excuses offered by the mayor and the city, Kellogg ordered the club to be shuttered.
With all the windows at Assets already boarded up to shut out the light of day, it would appear they have a head start.
City spokesman Sean Howard issued this statement: "After viewing Mark Suppelsa’s report, the evidence now validates clearly the allegations we have been investigating over the last 2 weeks. As of 9:35 pm tonight a cease and desist is being placed on the property of Club Assets by way of an executive order of the mayor, the liquor license is also being revoked as well. No operations will be conducted at that business. The city of Harvey was presented plans for a sports bar and grill but now it is clear that we have been misled.”
In a followup report on Friday, WGN also noted that Assets' landlord went to court because Wash hadn't paid her rent.