Cigars & Stripes Town Ponders Anti-Two Way Mirror Law

Illustration for article titled Cigars & Stripes Town Ponders Anti-Two Way Mirror Law

The town of Berwyn, Illinois, where comedian Tamale Rocks discovered a two-way mirror in the women’s bathroom of a comedy club, is considering a new ordinance to make two-way mirrors in businesses illegal. Meanwhile, Ronnie Lottz, the owner of Cigars and Stripes comedy club, who once vowed to Jezebel that he’d “burn this place to the fucking ground” before taking the mirror out, says it may be time to take the mirror out.


My Suburban Life reported Tuesday that Berwyn Alderman Marge Paul will introduce an ordinance that would amend the City Code to prohibit two-way mirrors or surveillance devices in commercial establishments. (The obvious issue with that is that it could inadvertently make security cameras illegal; the language of the ordinance will probably have to specify that those devices can’t be in the restroom.)

Lottz has insisted that the mirror is a Halloween gag, that all his regulars knew about it, and that the closet behind it is always unlocked, so that a female patron could check to make sure no one’s spying on her before she uses the bathroom. Berwyn police inspected the bathroom and determined that no laws were being broken.

Lottz told My Suburban Life that the criticism of his cool mirror took all the joy out of it for him, and he’s considering removing it.

“I feel I made my stand for it,” Lottz told the paper. “I just don’t want to hinder the community. I don’t like some of the things said about Berwyn from people in other states, and that’s what it’s all about. There’s just so many people who don’t understand it.”

He added that he’s been called names and claimed that he’d received unspecified death threats.

“The thing that hurts is that [Tamale Rocks] knew what she was doing,” Lottz said. “I’m so proud to be in business in Berwyn. I don’t like the way people are looking at us from the outside. It just took all the fun out of it.”


Tamale Rocks did indeed know that she was taking a video of a two-way mirror in a ladies room. Good point.

Perhaps missing his moment in the limelight, Lottz has been tweeting at various famous people, asking them to come see his mirror and occasionally saying he’ll charge admission for the privilege. He’s also complained that he’s being “cyber-bullied.”


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There used to be a restaurant in my hometown that had 2-way mirrors in the bathroom, but they were actually funny, albeit a little uncomfortable, but not in a violating way. The difference was that the mirrors were on the outside of the bathroom. Anyone inside the bathroom could see what’s happening in the restaurant yet no one could see them. It felt like everyone could see you using the bathroom, but they couldn’t. So funny, uncomfortable, but not potentially victimizing anyone.