The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

The Capitol Club Reopens While Owner Appeals Loss of Liquor License

By Heather Cherone | October 10, 2013 7:25am
  The Capitol Club, which caters to immigrants from Eastern Europe, had been closed since July.
Portage Park Night Club Reopens While Owner Appeals Loss of Liquor License
View Full Caption

PORTAGE PARK — The Capitol Club, which has long been the subject of complaints about noise, traffic and drunk revelers, reopened over the weekend after appealing the revocation of its liquor license.

Chester Kiercul, who has owned the Portage Park nightclub for 32 years, said he was relieved to be open after the city shut him down in July. 

"It is all a joke," Kiercul said. "We have been treated unfairly by the city."

A judge Friday allowed the club at 4244 N. Milwaukee Ave. to reopen while Kiercul appeals the city's decision to yank his liquor license, said Owen Brugh, chief of staff to Ald. John Arena (45th).

The club, which bills itself as the premier Polish nightclub in Chicago and caters to the large population of Eastern European immigrants on Chicago's far Northwest Side, had its license revoked in September 2012. It remained open until July while it appealed that decision.

The city liquor appeals commission ruled that Kiercul should lose his ability to sell alcohol for failing to cooperate with police during an investigation of an attack at the club in December 2009 that left a man bleeding all over the club's floor.

The liquor commission also fined Kiercul $1,500 for having a sign on public property without a permit and $500 for not having the proper tax stamp on a pool table.

The liquor commission ruled Kiercul deserved to lose his license because he did not provide police with surveillance video taken inside the club at the time of the attack, despite repeated requests.

It also yanked Kiercul's license because he directed one of his employees to clean up the blood on the club's floor after the attack.

The city requires liquor license holders to report all illegal activity to police immediately and to cooperate with officers.

According to his testimony to the liquor commission, Kiercul said he told officers the club's surveillance cameras were dirty, but never refused to hand over the footage.

The appeals commission ruled that since there was no evidence the cleanup of the blood impeded the police investigation of the attack, Kiercul's actions did not violate the terms of his liquor license.

However, the commission upheld the license revocation based on Kiercul's handling of the video footage.

The club has been cited numerous time by the city for building violations.

The next hearing in the case is expected to take place later this month, Kiercul said.