Fire claims strip club that once was library, job center

WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) — Fire has claimed a southwestern Illinois strip club that was once a village library and community center after it was seized in a federal probe of illegal gambling.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the Main Street Club in Washington Park burned to the ground in the predawn hours Friday.

The club had earlier been owned by Thomas Venezia, who in 1995 was convicted on federal racketeering charges.

The village near East St. Louis later sold the building to a former trustee with the provision it could not again become a strip club. But that requirement apparently was not followed by the current owners, who bought the building from the former village official

The owners could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.