WINDY CITY TIMES
||Velvet Rope investigation continues amid rumors
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
This article shared 2791 times since Thu Sep 20, 2012
The investigation around a suspected arson at a popular Oak Park gay bar continues months after a fire ravaged the business, setting off rumors about the source of the fire and the future of the bar.
A fire gutted the Velvet Rope Ultra Lounge in June, sparking fears that the business was targeted in an anti-gay hate crime.
Officials previously said the fire was suspicious in nature, and Oak Park Police Commander Phyliss Howard said that graffiti on the building suggested a possible hate crime. Police later refused to confirm Howard's initial statement.
Months later, Oak Park Police have declined to comment on the ongoing investigation, stating that further information is still unavailable.
The gutted business has become a source of gossip in recent weeks as owner Frank Elliot attempts to open a new business in Lakeview.
Rumors have suggested that Elliot sold Velvet Rope, a story that Elliot said is untrue.
Others have speculated that Elliot was being blocked from opening Bonsai Bar and Lounge at 3503 N. Halsted St. Elliot said that he has been jumping through hoops with city inspections but that he was unaware of an intentional holdup. He said he hopes to open the Lakeview small plate restaurant and bar in two or three weeks.
Tressa Feher, chief of staff for Alderman James Cappleman, whose ward encompasses Elliot's new business, said that her office had no information that suggested Elliot was being purposefully prevented from opening. She said the business was missing some permits when construction began, stalling completion.
This article shared 2791 times since Thu Sep 20, 2012
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