Velvet Rope, the only gay bar in Oak Park Illinois, was destroyed in a weekend fire investigators are calling “suspicious.” On Sunday the back door was kicked in, anti-gay comments were spray painted on the wall, and the fire was set. The safe was untouched, which makes this seem more and more like a hate crime. Owner Frank Elliot is beside himself saying, “I’m beyond shocked, I have nothing.”
The fire was reported at about 6:25 a.m. Sunday after someone smelled smoke, said Oak Park Police Sgt. Anthony Thomas. Flames charred the inside of the club, but no injuries were reported.