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New business takes over site of closed 7 Spa

Spa Osaka has licensed massage therapists, only open until 9:30

The sign at the former 7 Spa has yet to be changed, which has some thinking the controversial spa has reopened, but it has not.

“People are under the impression it is still 7 Spa, but it is not,” said Bill Cheshareck, building and zoning officer for the city.

A new spa has been given a business license for the former location of 7 Spa, 1836 N. Division St., Morris, said Mayor Richard Kopczick.

The business license was approved by the Judiciary and License Committee April 19. The new owner is Joong Lee for Spa Osaka, an acupuncture and massage therapy business.

The massage therapist has a state certified license on file, said Kopczick. And a background check on the owner came up clean. Lee owns a fitness business in Arlington Heights, and is registered with the Department of Revenue and Attorney General’s office.

The business has met all the state and city requirements, and, therefore, not granting the license would be discriminatory and illegal. Massage therapists’ licenses are certified by the state, not local municipalities.

Unlike the controversial 7 Spa, Spa Osaka is not a late-night operation. It is licensed to be open from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. They wanted the evenings to accommodate people who work late, said Kopczick.

During a random inspection at 7 Spa on Feb. 13 by Cheshareck, it was found that the business had no licensed massage therapists in the building during its operating hours.

The 7 Spa had advertised itself as a massage parlor, but had been rumored to provide sexual services. The business was open until midnight daily and asked patrons to go through the back door of its location. Multiple Internet reviews cited the spa as offering illegal services.      

The city filed an ordinance complaint against the business in Grundy County Circuit Court for the lack of licensed employees. A settlement agreement was made for the city code violation where 7 Spa voluntarily relinquished its business license. In return, the city dismissed its violation complaints related to the Feb. 13 incident.

The settlement states the owners cannot seek a business license to operate any spa or massage-related business from the city for five years.

The 7 Spa has stayed closed since Feb. 13, but with the new business taking it over, the location and its signage have been lit up while still under the 7 Spa sign. This has caused the city to receive concerns from people that the old business has reopened.

The city’s sign ordinance states that after 30 days of a business vacating, the business’ signage has to be removed or a blank faced sign put up so the previous business is no longer named.

This was not done, so the business owner and building owner have been notified so the 7 Spa signs can be removed and end the confusion, said Cheshareck.

“The (previous 7 Spa) owner took off and the new owner got stuck with (taking care of the signs),” he said.

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