Chicago nightclub owner agonizes over catastrophe

Thursday, February 27, 2003 at 1:00am

Early Feb. 17, Dwain Kyles, owner of the Chicago nightclub Epitome/E2, was awakened by a phone call from his longtime business partner Calvin Hollins.

Hollins was calling from the police station. By the time Kyles made it to his nightclub, the lifeless bodies were already stacked up at the door.

"I couldn't get through it," he told me, explaining why it took so long for him to issue a personal apology to the families of the 21 people who were killed and 50 others who were injured at his popular nightclub.

I know Kyles and have grown to respect him as a hard-working, classy businessman. At the time of our interview late in the night Feb. 18, Kyles seemed still to be reeling from the horrendous events.

On Feb. 19, Cook County Judge Daniel J. Lynch denied the request to have Kyles thrown in jail, citing the city's failure to properly notify Kyles that it was seeking jail time.

"I will never be able to prove it, but

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