Resident wants relief from troublesome bar
by Chuck Hoven

(Plain Press, April 2007) For several years, Rowena Ventura has been trying to get something done about problems stemming from El Tropical Lounge at 3382 W. 44th (44th & Storer). Ventura, who lives across from the bar, says noise from the bar keeps her up at night. The bar has a DJ, which attracts crowds and noise. “Saturday nights are so bad, I have a hard time getting up on Sunday morning to take my grandchildren to church,” she says.

Ventura says problems at the bar include drugs, prostitution and shootings.

Ventura recalls a neighborhood meeting held about problems at the bar when Nelson Cintron, Jr. was councilperson. She says no action resulted from that meeting.

Around the first of February of this year, she says she sent the current Ward 14 Councilman Joe Santiago six video tapes showing some of the behavior of bar patrons. She said Santiago told her he was in the middle of budget cycle and needed more time to review the tapes.

More recently she said she talked to Ward 14 code enforcement specialist Roger Rogers, who works out of the Tremont West Development Corporation office. Ventura says Rogers told her he would take the tapes to the Second District Commander. She said she has yet to see any changes.

Ventura says she also contacted the Stockyard Redevelopment Organization, which she said told her they were waiting to hear from the Councilman.

Ventura says when Second District Police came to the bar in response to her complaint, they talked with Second District officers who work as security for the bar and shined a light on her apartment. She said being pointed out in this manner has made her fearful for the safety of her family and made her reluctant to call the Second District again for help.


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