CHICAGO — A business known for littering with g-strings and dollar bills inside is being recognized for its litter-free exterior by an Albany Park community group, sparking mixed reactions on the Facebook page of the community group that honored the club.
Albany Park Neighbors awarded the Admiral Theatre a Block Star Business Award in January. The award says it is "in recognition of their role in helping keep Albany Park beautiful."
"We understand this is controversial. We're not naive," said Shylo Bisnett, a founding member of the group.
"We have a big litter problem, and the litter bothers everyone. We have a lot of businesses that don't keep their sidewalks free of litter or snow in the winter. We wanted to recognize businesses that do a really good job of keeping their exterior tidy. They keep their place immaculate," Bisnett said.
While some commenters weren't sure if the strip club at 3940 W. Lawrence Ave. was deserving of the award, the neighborhood group defended its decision on Facebook, noting that Albany Park residents voted to give them the award.
And some commenters were quick to high-five the business for its service to the community.
"I applaud APN for not being small-minded and judgemental [sic]. The Admiral deserves it," Neal Wilson posted on the Facebook.
"I approve! The Admiral keeps its building and grounds clean, donates to the community and is remarkably quiet considering that it's a strip club," posted Emily Harris, adding she'd love to see other businesses "keep their alley and sidewalks as tidy as the Admiral."
Albany Park Neighbors touts the Block Star Business Program as a way to help "residents recognize and champion local businesses who are going above and beyond in the fight against litter, while also providing great customer service and going the extra mile for our community," according to their website.
Business are nominated and voted for by readers of the Albany Park Neighbor's newsletter, Bisnett said, adding that several hundred community members voted for the strip club.
Qualifications for the award include maintaining a clean sidewalk and well-kept storefront, providing adequate places to dispose of trash, helping minimize the amount of waste customers bring with them into the neighborhood and encourage other business to do the same.
"Regardless of what people think about their business, it's difficult to argue they don't deserve it," said Bisnett, who lives near the club. "They're impeccable. It looks classy, and people voted for them."
Winners are given the certificate to display in their window, a mention on Facebook and a listing on their website.
The Admiral Theatre joins the short list of winners that includes Golden Crust Pizza, Lawrence Eye Care, Noon o Kabob, Mayan Sol and Andy's Fruit Ranch.
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