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Red Kiva is Closed, But Hosting Community Meeting on Bike Lanes Wednesday

By Stephanie Lulay | September 15, 2015 5:35am
  Red Kiva, an embattled West Loop restaurant and nightclub on Randolph, has voluntarily closed after a fatal shooting occurred nearby this month.
Red Kiva, an embattled West Loop restaurant and nightclub on Randolph, has voluntarily closed after a fatal shooting occurred nearby this month.
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DNAinfo/Alex Nitkin

WEST LOOP — A West Loop restaurant and nightclub is hosting a community meeting this week, although the spot is closed to the public for the next two months after a fatal shooting.

Owners of Red Kiva on Randolph agreed to voluntarily close the business for 60 days beginning Sept. 9, according to Carla Agostinelli, executive director of the West Loop Community Organization. 

Both the victims and their attackers were at Red Kiva, 1108 W. Randolph St., early Sunday before a fight later broke out on the street, according to Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th). The ensuing shooting on the sidewalk outside left one 23-year-old man dead and another injured.

But this week, the Randolph/Fulton Market Association, another West Loop delegate agency, announced it would host a community meeting on Lake Street bike lanes at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Red Kiva, 1108 W. Randolph St.

Roger Romanelli, executive director of the Randolph/Fulton Market Association, said the group decided to host the Wednesday meeting at Red Kiva before the shooting. Romanelli said Red Kiva owner Princess Lomax has demonstrated a passion to be involved in the community, host community meetings and prohibit crime.

"Lomax complained of graffiti on her building and the condominium building across the street at 1050 W. Randolph St. and sought [the association's] immediate help to remove the graffiti," Romanelli said in a press release. "In addition, Lomax raised concern over the safety of Randolph Street sidewalks."

Romanelli said city officials had no objection to Red Kiva hosting the Wednesday meeting.

At the meeting, the group will present their proposed Lake Street Improvement Plan and are invited to weigh in on the city's plan to install bike lanes from Ashland Avenue to Halsted Street along the corridor. Local business owners and residents are encouraged to attend Wednesday.

The Randolph/Fulton Market Association wants the city to prioritize Lake Street improvements including:

• installing a four-way traffic signal at Morgan and Lake streets

• installing additional four-way stop signs along the corridor

• widening Racine Street

• installing new streetlights

• repairing sidewalks and street surfaces on Lake Street

Romanelli said West Loop residents overwhelmingly rejected the bike lanes proposal at a recent meeting.

Last week, Burnett said cops would push Red Kiva to close. At the time, Burnett said police leaders did not think the shooting near Red Kiva met the burden required by a new city ordinance to close problem bars, but said police were meeting with Red Kiva owners to pressure the bar to voluntarily close for 60-90 days, Burnett said.

In May, the city's department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection initiated a case to revoke Red Kiva's liquor license because the new owners failed to report the change of ownership as required by the city's licensing rules. That case is still pending, and Red Kiva's next hearing date is Sept. 21.

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