(The Center Square) – When it comes to the post-pandemic recovery, few sectors see challenges like those in the adult entertainment industry, where nothing is so anathema to social distancing as a lap dance.
But if the Spanish Flu epidemic of a hundred years ago is any model, good times are forecast for the years ahead – even if now, like then, the roaring twenties must first pick up steam.
Still, Cabaret and strip clubs alike are getting back to business in Illinois. From the Lucky Horseshoe in Chicago to Déjà Vu in Springfield.
“Everyplace is different,” said Larry Troche, owner of Déjà Vu. He’s not ready to require dancers, staff, or patrons to show proof of vaccination.
“But I do require masks,” he said, “and I ask them to wear a mask, and if they don’t want to wear a mask, that’s their prerogative, but it’s my prerogative not to have them come in.”
With a third of Illinoisans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the bulk of direct stimulus payments from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan now delivered, more and more the stage is set for a return to normal.
Still, particularly in the sectors of food and hospitality, some employers are having a difficult time getting workers to return to the job, due in part to extended unemployment benefits.
For his part, Troche, who said he pays well, isn’t seeing it.
“Every situation is unique, but I am not having a lot of problems,” he said.
Summer, and especially during the Illinois State Fair in August, has traditionally been one of his busiest times, and he’s hopeful to be fully reopened with no restrictions by then. Troche, who has himself gotten the vaccine, encourages all who are eligible to do the same.