Brunch gone bad: How a Mother’s Day celebration ended up at a suburban strip club

WGN Investigates

It was billed as a laughter-filled brunch to celebrate Mother’s Day. But an event that was, for a time, set to be held at an upscale club and restaurant on Chicago’s Near West Side ended up at a strip club in southwest suburban Bedford Park.

And, after hours of waiting for subpar food with poor service, many of the more than 200 attendees stormed out of the Ocean Gentlemen’s Club and are still calling for refunds from the event’s organizers.

The May 9 celebration was the idea of Remus Jackson, a credit repair specialist based on the South Side. Tickets to the brunch and comedy show started at $100 each, with add-ons — such as bottomless mimosas and raffle tickets — available for an extra charge.

 “I walked into a situation expecting a fun-filled day to treat my mom to a good brunch, but what I got was no food, no entertainment at a strip club that was not fit for mothers,” Al Graves, an attendee who bought tickets for himself, his mother and two others, told WGN Investigates. “So, worst Mother’s Day ever.”

A few days before the event was set to be held, the venue changed from Society on the Near West Side to the Ocean Gentlemen’s Club in Bedford Park. Jackson told WGN Investigates that the change was made over concerns about space and social distancing.

Attendees say they waited hours for service, and, when they requested refunds, they were directed to Eventbrite, the online ticketing marketplace. A representative for Eventbrite said that all refunds are up to the discretion of the event organizer.

The Bedford Park police were eventually called to the strip club after some attendees wanted to report a theft, but police determined that it wasn’t a criminal matter.

Jackson says that some who’ve requested refunds have been rude, and that “they have to give respect to get it.”

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