DUNNING — Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) moved Wednesday to permanently close a social club in the Belmont Heights neighborhood that drew dozens of complaints from neighbors about public drunkenness and fights.
Cullerton introduced a zoning ordinance to the City Council to prevent the Hideout Social Club from reopening at 3205-07 N. Opal Ave. by changing the building’s zoning designation to residential.
“I don’t know what kind of business or club they were running, but it was a real problem for the neighbors,” Cullerton said.
No one answered the door at the club Wednesday. The windows were covered with reflective material, making it impossible for passersby to see inside.
Neighbors complained about people leaving the club drunk, urinating on their lawns, taking up all of the permit-parking spots along Opal Avenue and fighting in the alley, Cullerton said.
“There were drunk people coming and going at all hours,” Cullerton said.
Police saw alcohol being served without a license and cited the club for that and for failing to have a valid social club license, the alderman said.
“The police were very vigilant,” Cullerton said, adding that officers saw some of the club’s patrons boarding a party bus.
The city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection ordered the building closed and issued a cease-and-desist order to the Hideout Social Club on Feb. 4, city spokesman David Staudacher said.
“It has been a problem location for several years,” Cullerton said.
Before the Hideout Social Club opened, the location was known as the Opal Social Club, which moved to another location in the 7500 block of West Addison Street, according to the Tribune.
Cullerton said he hoped the change in the property’s zoning designation would force the owners to identify themselves, allowing the city to take legal action.
“We want to make sure this place never opens up again,” Cullerton said.
Although the club is now in the 36th Ward — represented by Ald. Nicholas Sposato — it will be in Cullerton's 38th Ward when the new ward map takes effect after the 2015 aldermanic elections.