A strip club decided social distancing was for wimps and opened their doors, and was stunned when no one came.
The boss at Blackjacks Gentleman's Club in Elgin, near Chicago, thought locals were made of sterner stuff.
The Chicago Tribune reports Elgin-area restaurants, bars and other businesses have been closed over the past week during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Anthony Buttitta vowed to keep Blackjacks Gentlemen's Club open, coronavirus or not.
Posts on the strip club's Facebook page this week confidently announced the venue would operate as usual.
"We're open during the COVID-19 outbreak," said one post. "Disinfecting, sanitizing, washing hands, complying with all state and CDC guidance – and dancing!!!"
And another reads: "Need to get out of the house? Come play tonight at Blackjacks."
But, as he later told the paper, there was a major problem: Almost no customers showed up.
As Coronavirus in Illinois sees 134 new cases, bringing total to 422, including three more deaths, Mr Buttitta said despite efforts to remain open, the club near Elgin will close indefinitely.
"We did try. But nobody showed up," Buttitta admitted.
Staff had stopped serving beverages and the dance stages and all surfaces were cleaned frequently, and a separate cleaning company scrubbed the venue daily, he said.
The owner, though, made the decision to close Thursday, citing dwindling business and the ever-evolving news surrounding the coronavirus.
"It's just not going to work," Buttitta confessed to the paper.
Blackjacks employs 15 people and independently contracts with 30 to 40 dancers. Buttitta said he kept the business open so employees and dancers could have a job. He didn't have an estimate for when the club might reopen.
"The girls, they all have children, most of them are single mothers," he said.
Because they're independently contracted, the dancers will not receive unemployment benefits through the venue, Buttitta said.
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