A pair of aldermen want to close a longtime Noble Square nightclub, saying it poses a “public safety threat” in the wake of a shooting that left a bouncer in critical condition. EvilOlive is a 4 a.m. bar at 1551 W. Division Street that stands across from the Polish Triangle at the intersection of Ashland, Milwaukee, and Division. A man repeatedly shot a bouncer after an argument early Wednesday morning inside the club during business hours.
The bouncer remains at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition, according to Block Club Chicago. Alderman (2nd) Brian Hopkins, whose ward contains EvilOlive, sent out an email Wednesday stating that’s he’s seeking “summary closure on the grounds the EvilOlive poses an immediate public safety threat.”
“I have a no tolerance police for businesses that cannot maintain a secure environment for patrons, and pose a safety threat to the public,” Hopkins’ letter reads.
Alderman (1st) Joe Moreno, whose ward borders the second, agrees with Hopkins and wants to close the club, according to Block Club.
EvilOlive possesses a rare late-night liquor license where it can serve alcohol until 4 a.m. every day except Saturday nights into Sunday mornings when it can serve until 5 a.m. It’s an open space for dancing where local DJs host themed music nights. The bar opened in 2007 when it replaced a club called Four. The club’s owned by Marcin Kawa and Radoslav Hawryszczk. Kawa opened another bar this summer a few blocks northwest on Milwaukee Avenue. Little Olive Lounge replaced Crocodile Lounge, which was tangled in an eviction saga.
So what is “summary closure?” It’s an ordinance that forces the immediate closure of an entity until the owner can demonstrate they’ve taken the steps toward making their venue a safer place. A public hearing would determine with the bar is no longer a public threat. The shutter can last three days to six months and owners could face a $1,000 to $10,000 fine if they open their bar without permission. Once the city evokes the ordinance, the bar owner would have three days to request a hearing to appeal. The ordinance defines a public safety threat when a “violent offense” that involves a customer or employee happens inside an establishment while it’s open to the public.
The ordinance was introduced in 2015. Since then, city officials have used it to close The Shrine, a nightclub where a patron was shot in February 2016 and eventually closed permanently. Three clubs on the South and West sides were closed in January 2016 after shootings. Police shut down Green Dolphin Street in Bucktown in October 2016 after a bouncer was shot.
The process is much different than what the Bottled Blonde is going through. The city ruled to strip the River North of its license after a battery of hearings and complaints. Ownership has appealed and more hearings have been scheduled.
Stay tuned for any updates.
- Aldermen Vow To Shut Down evilOlive After Shooting Leaves Bouncer Critically Injured [Block Club Chicago]
- Rio Nightclub Loses Bid To Reopen As City Seeks Permanent Closure [DNAinfo]
- Shootings finally close The Shrine nightclub [Tribune]
- Cops close 3 clubs on West, South sides following shootings [Tribune]
- Decade-Old Wicker Park Bar Crocodile Evicted For Unpaid Rent [Eater Chicago]
- Bucktown Shooting Wounds Man, 29, Police Say [DNAinfo]
- Bottled Blonde: Two Years of Controversy in River North [Eater Chicago]