When Harold Parker was caught with his club open 30 minutes past his licensed 4:00 a.m. closing time, he assumed he could just head down to the police station and “sort things out.” However, when he attempted to pay a bribe, a second cop appeared from a closet and he discovered he’d been trapped.
Whether the entire incident was a set-up or not (Parker claimed that he was just serving cake to an employee for their birthday), the days of wide-open Peoria were clearly over. Gamblers, hustlers and even legitimate club owners could no longer simply bribe their way out of legal trouble. What started as a simple code violation ended with Parker having to close the club. He set up his next base of operations in Chicago, not Peoria.