Division Street clubs temporarily closed after shooting, accusations of gang connections

FOX 32 NEWS - Division Street clubs are temporarily closed down after a shooting and accusations of gang connections.

The bars have been open for the past couple years and for about the past year and a half, the alderman for the area says he's been working to get them closed after hearing from the community.

“I think shutting down bars, folks are just going to move elsewhere,” said Bridget Lee.

The building at 7 West Division Street houses three bars in the same location, which are all around the corner from a bar that sits atop the restaurant.

Each of them closed Thursday morning due to various building violations. The main target of these three, the bar called "Room Seven."

Among reasons for closing it, according to Alderman Brian Hopkins, is a list of complaints from residents about nuisance issues involving people who visit the bars.

“My patience has run out, though, and I believe the only solution is to shut this bar down,” Hopkins said.

Alderman Hopkins says the building violations are a temporary measure as he seeks to have them closed permanently.

“There's been a lot of fights, noise, traffic, broken bottles,” Hopkins said.

But the main reason he cites is a shooting from January at a nearby parking garage that left an off-duty Cook County Sheriff's deputy and two others injured. It’s a crime Hopkins says was perpetrated by a man seen at one of the bars, which he says also promotes to gangs.

“They use promoters that have affiliations with some of the gangs in Chicago. They market directly to gang members. We see it on social media all the time,” Hopkins said.

“People out here going to the bathroom, fights, crime. It’s a good thing. Close them down,” said Jim Peltason.

The bars sit in the popular Gold Coast neighborhood, known for its night life and open atmosphere.

Though many who live and hang here agree with the closures, Lee is considering moving in to apartments next door and wasn't so sure.

“We know that the city has an issue with gang violence. I don't know if shutting down bars is really a solution as opposed to maybe a Band-Aid,” Lee said.

Each of the bars closed will have a chance fix the violations in order to re-open. Hopkins is pursuing a city legal process for permanent closure.

FOX 32 was unable to reach an attorney for the "Room Seven" bar.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

More Stories You May Be Interested In - includes Advertiser Stories