July 9, 2006

Whatever happens in Keithsburg, stays in Keithsburg

One man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, the saying goes.

And in Keithsburg, a sleepy river town barely getting by when its misfortunes were compounded by a devastating flood several years ago which nearly wiped the village off the map, a guy named Guy Brenkman apparently saw a goldmine.

Brenkman appears to be buying up the town, lock, stock, and barrel, and trying like hell to establish a strip club as well.

As he put it in an ad run recently in a Mercer county paper,
"Bikini's in Keithsburg, Illinois, offers entertainment that may offend some people," the ads read. "You are hereby given notice that females performing may appear in a topless state of dress as part of the entertainment package [package?] this establishment offers. Do not enter the establishment if this type of activity offends you. [We dare ya!]

"The owners of this establishment have chosen to offer this format of entertainment as their right under the United States Constitution's First Amendment allows them to do."
If that doesn't get those farm boys racing down the highway to Keithsburg, nothing will. Hell, it's closer than going to Rock Island or Davenport looking for hookers, as the Aledo mayor got busted doing not so long ago.

Bruckman originally proposed to open "Bikini's Bar & Grill" as a Hooter's style restaurant, which prompted the city council to hastily write and pass an ordinance designed to keep adult type entertainment out of the village. Brenkman had the waitresses dressed in string bikinis, but after having spying what he believes is a loophole in the wording of the ordinance, promptly began topless dancing about 5 weeks ago.

The place has been packed every since. As one alderman put it,
"When we first moved here, you could throw a rock down Main Street and not hit anything. Now, you actually have to stop at the corners."
Brenkman won a federal court battle in 2002 against the Peoria County Board and won the right to run a totally nude strip club, "Fantasyland" there.

Brenkman has also bought "several other buildings" in Keithsburg.

As the account in the D/A puts it:
Aside from the topless bar, Mr. Brenkman has bought several other buildings in downtown Keithsburg. His fiance, known as Sherri, runs an adult-themed women's wear shop. She's also offering exotic dancer classes as a way to draw more local dancers to Bikini's.
[Ankle Grabbing 101, Intro to Pole Humping, The Art Of Exotic Dance: Turn Your Panties Into An All-night Bank Deposit Box, and "Are You A Cop? The Do's and Don't's of Income Enhancement?]
Mr. Brenkman said currently all his dancers and bartenders are from outside the local area.

He also runs the Riverside Motel, which he said has been nearly full on a consistent basis [DUH!] since he came to town. In fact, he's looking at adding about eight more rooms to the motel because of its popularity.

He recently bought the Tastee Freeze and is in the middle of putting on an addition to move the arcade he bought and opened earlier this year into that building. He still has plans of reopening a dollar store, which opened for a short time earlier this year.

He had a run-in with the city council over a bank he wants to bring to town. He requested that a two-way street be switched to a one-way street to enable the bank to have drive-up service.

Mr. Brenkman said he has never seen "such stupid, narrow-(minded) action by a city council" when several aldermen voted against the change, and said he thinks several aldermen are against the project because it was presented by him.
Hmmm. A strip club, a thriving motel, an adult lingerie shop for "Sherri" to run, and his own bank to pile up all the cash. Could be the start of an empire ala Capone's Cicero of the 20's or perhaps Keithsburg will become the East Dubuque of the 50's and 60's.

It seems whatever the outcome, Bruckman is going to become an even wealthier man. (if some enraged farmer doesn't plug him with a shotgun when he finds out his daughter is dancing and frequenting the motel.) Sex sells, after all, and in deepest, darkest Mercer county, it ought to sell like hotcakes.

And permit me to ask a rhetorical question, why would a motel be doing thriving business to the point of expanding in a town where there is absolutely NOTHING but a topless club and a couple of stray dogs?

Rural residents of Mercer county appear willing and eager to leave some money in Keithsburg, and since it appears that Bruckman has already essentially bought the town, it's all money in the bank, maybe even his own bank.

Now if he can only figure a way to open a casino. It IS right on the river bank, after all. I think a call to Sen. Jacobs is in order.

Predicition: Brenkman will evenutally have an all nude club in Keithsburg using the same strategy he utilized in Peoria County, namely, forcing the city or county into a lawsuit so expensive that they'll give in. Gambling may be not far behind.


At 7/09/2006 2:37 PM, Blogger UMRBlog said...

Wonder what the dress code will be for staff at the bank. Could have guys driving in from Rocky just to cash a paycheck.

No telling what thoughts he might have for ATM options.

At 7/09/2006 6:19 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

UMR. An excellent question which I'll probably devote a lot of time to pondering.

Perhaps this guy might have to launder money. Not to hide profits, but due to the fact that most of the deposits will have come out of g-strings?

But if the tellers are scantily clad beauties, you can be sure that the bank will be getting a lot of "interest". (rim shot)

Thanks, you've been great. I'm here all week. Try the veal.


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