Archive for the ‘strip club’ tag
As it turns out, the answer to this perennial question is "On US-301 just south of Starke". In fact, when I found this closed Cafe Risque this summer, I believed I was in Starke, and not this particular Alachua County metropolis of 1015 souls.
In the event, I had driven by the vacant building on the east side of the road, when the partial sign I had seen percolated to the front of my brain, and I turned around to get some pictures.
I had written about Cafe Risque before, when I noticed I was no longer seeing the I-95 billboards around Darien Georgia. Doing a little more googling this time, I see that the Cafe Risque story is a bit stranger than I might have thought: the whole chain grew out of a family restaurant empire called "Skeeter's Breakfast House". Apparently that legacy led to Cafe Risque's key insight: You could run strip clubs without alcohol if you put them in out of the way places and had decent food. Certainly, the regulatory hurdles are lower that way. Of course, it's questionable if that model still works as most of the places have closed in recent years (apparently one both opened and closed in Dunn after I left the Fayetteville area) though some of that may be due to the death of the man who was the chain's driving force as referenced at the first link above. As of this posting, it appears that the location on I-75 in Micanopy Florida is the only one left as described in this (somewhat NSFW) article in Gainesville Scene.
I'm sure someone will mention what this building was originally, bu the first specific memory I have of it is from when it was Club Cabaret. Like Heartbreakers, Club Cabaret was a strip club, but it had a much nicer roadside sign. It was a neon sign, and I wish I had taken a picture of it. As I recall, it was a very well executed portrait of an attractive woman's face underneath an elaborate and colorful hat. It was not, in fact, something that leapt out and said 'strip club', but on the other hand, in Columbia you probably couldn't put up a similar sign that did. I'm not sure when Club Cabaret closed. It was still listed in the February 1997 phonebook, so I'm guessing in the early 2000s.
After Club Cabaret, the place became Heartbreakers. I'm not sure if it was affiliated with the Platinum Plus chain from the beginning, or if it was bought out sometime later, but clearly by the time the owners made their deal with the City to close this club in order to be able to keep Platinum Plus in its current location, they were sister businesses.
The original plan announced was that Heartbreakers would move to the old Diamond Disco / Southern Gentlemans location on Old Dunbar Road. In fact, if you look at that post, you can see the new neighbors namechecking the club on their signs. At some point though, that plan went by the wayside, and the Dunbar location will be called Platinum West and will be a BYOB/full-nude club. I suppose that location is far enough from the other Platinum location so as not to cause confusion using a similar name. At any rate, I suspect the plans for the Heartbreakers staff and equpment aren't affected by not carrying the name over.
But as of now, this is Where the girls aren't.
Here is another tiny strip club on Two Notch Road. The last phonebook entry was apparently in 2009, but online sources show it was actually open at least into September of 2011.
I have to say that I quite like the sign.
The Cricket Club / Larry's Lounge / Pleasers / Pleasers 2 / Diamonds, 3009 Bluff Road: 2009 4 comments
I noticed this defunct strip club on Bluff Road the other day, on the west side of the road just south of the I-77 exit.
According to what I can find, it has been several clubs, the last of which Diamonds was in business as recently as 2009, but from the state of the building, nobody has done any maintenance since then. (Though it is still in better shape than Liquids).
The names raise some interesting questions. For instance, there was a Diamonds on Berryhill Road. Is there a connection? And: If this was Pleasers 2, where was Pleasers 1?
It is next door to a building even more decrepit about which I will try to find something out so I can eventually do a closing for it as well.
UPDATE 29 October 2012: Commenter tonkatoy says that back in the 70s, this was The Cricket Club. Bit of a sticky wicket, that!
Update 5 November 2012: Well one of the questions above is answered. Commenter BMJae says that the club was named Pleasers and then was closed due to fire, taking the name Pleasers 2 upon reopening after repair and remodel. I have added the name Pleasers to the post title.
Update 20 August 2014 -- This building is not long for the world, in fact it apparently was scheduled to be demolished on 12 August, but said demolition has not yet happened. Interestingly the demolition order gives the address as 3009 Bluff Road, which is not what I found previously with google (ie: 3028 Bluff Road), but it seems authoritative so I am changing the post title to reflect that. Also interestingly, the door was open..
"Boss! The Plane! The Plane!" — Sorry, but that had to be said
I'm not quite sure what is going on with Club Fantasy Island, a tiny strip club on Two Notch Road which basically shares a parking lot with the old Shrimper restaurant and the old Atlantic Twin Theater. (As I recall, the club got a bit of notoriety some years ago when there was a shooting in the parking lot, but I'm not sure if the incident was actually related to the club itself, a neighboring club, or was random.)
Anyway, I took these pictures back in early March 2012 because I had noticed that when driving down Two Notch at times the club should normally be open, it wasn't. I almost went ahead and did a closing on it then, but one night somewhat later when I drove by, it was open once more, and I saw it open normally after that. Then, in June, I think, it was closed again, so I don't know exactly what the status is, but if they re-open again, I'll just update the post title.
Crockmeyer's / Coconuts Inc. / Swipe USA / The Clubhouse / Chastitys Gold Club / Savannahs Gentlemens Club / Club Crush, 3722 River Drive: 8 March 2012 11 comments
Well, this one is ripped from the headlines -- It seems that on the morning of Thursday 8 March 2012, somebody set fire to Club Crush (aka Crush Gentlemens Club) on River Drive just down from a defunct Cash / Title shop and the old A&P.
OK, I'm jumping the gun on the theory that it was arson, but given the recent history of the club (a woman was shot on 1 March and a tow truck driver was shot at on 7 March), I doubt that it just *happened to catch fire.
Actually I find the story of the woman being shot all the more remarkable in that it recapitulates the most famous incident to happen at this building. In both cases people inside the building were shot by bullets coming in from outside the club. Luckily, the woman is said to not be gravely injured -- in the first incident a man was killed. As I recall the story, the fatal incident happened while the building was occupied by Chastitys Gold Club. It seems that a man (a lawyer in fact!) was attempting to take liberties with a dancer that neither she nor club management would countenance, and the man was thrown out of the club, whereupon he went home, got a gun, came back and fired through the (closed) front door, killing a club employee.
I don't think that Chastitys ever really recovered from the bad publicity, and after limping on for a while, closed in 2009. The building shortly re-opened as another strip club, Savannahs Gentlemens Club (no apostrophies anywhere..) which didn't last too long and was replaced by Club Crush in late 2010 or 2011.
In fact, this building has always seemed to have sort of a revolving door problem. I was amused recently when both The State and The Free Times reported on Richland County mooting a change to zoning rules to close county stripclubs, and both papers seemed to believe that Chastitys was still open (unsurprisingly they noted they were unable to get a comment from the owners about the proposed regulations, given that the club was long gone..). Some other businesses I know of in this building were Coconuts Inc, The Club House and Crockmeyer's,which all sound like night clubs, and Swipe USA which doesn't. (In fact, I'm not sure what that sounds like..).
I'm not sure about Club Crush, but the building itself did not appear badly damaged, and based on history, I predict a club will be open there again soon, whatever the name.
UPDATE 13 December 2013: According to The State the building as been denied a permit to operate as a bar under new ownership, with, I think, the subtext being: this is for all time. To me this seems like visiting the sins of the past into the future..
This porn emporium on Broad River Road next to the old Data Resources site and across the street from Ole Town Antiques recently gave up the ghost and is already boarded up. I like the odd fact that the advertising silhouettes are about as tame as anything involving a man and a woman together can be. There are racier beer billboards. Of course maybe that did them in!
More likely are two other factors. First, they were just down the street from This is It! at 2831 Broad River Road, and that seems to be a chain of sorts. And second, I heard somewhere that Al Gore invented something that lets you see people in their birthday suits for free...
(Hat tip to a commenter I can not locate now..)
UPDATE 8 October 2011: Added "TJ's" to the post title after finding it in google. It was a strip club.
UPDATE 11 November 2011: Added "The Ballistic Center to the post title. It was a shooting range. I've got a nice ad to scan in at some point.
UPDATE 23 November 2011 -- Here's the ad I mentiond above:
The Ballistic Center first listed in the January 1984 phonebook at "1022 Columbia College Drive". I forgot to make a note of when they first listed at this address, but the last listing was in the February 1991 phonebook.
If you drove I-95 to Florida in the 90s or 2000s, you could hardly miss the plethora of billboards with the come-on We Bare All dotted up and down the highway. Darien's Cafe Risque may not have out advertised Dillon's South of the Border, but you'd have to be driving in your sleep to be unaware of it -- until recently, that is.
Having not noticed the billboards lately, I decided to check into what had happened to the place on my drive back to Columbia last week.
The building is at Georgia exit 49 off of I-95 (Georgia Highway 251) on the other side of the Interstate from an outlet mall, and like many roadside attractions turns out to be much smaller than you might expect from the massive billboard campaign.
I really arrived too late in the evening to take good pictures, but these flash and longer exposures turned out well enough to show the current state of the place. Interestingly, after a month of being around marsh and woods, this parking lot was the only place I had a real mosquito problem -- the moment I got out of the car, they descended on me en-masse and I was scared I might pass out from blood loss getting these shots :-)
This Florida Times Union (Jacksonville) article tells the story of the end of Cafe Risque, and its beginning. Apparently the owner hoodwinked the town into approving a cafe on the site, and didn't mention the mealtime entertainment he planned to provide, and since there was no alcohol involved, there was little the town could do about it. (The article headline implies the town eventually shut it down, but the text makes clear it was lack of business).
As far as I could tell from I-75 signage, a sister Cafe Risque is still in operation in Micanopy Florida, just below Gainesville.
Read the rest of this entry »
Antonio's Restaurant / LB Dynasty / Studio 54 / Club Gemeni, 6212 Two Notch Road: 1970s, late 2000s 11 comments
I don't actually remember this place as an Italian restaurant, but apparently in 1974 it was one. Pizza was still a pretty exotic food to me then, but was one I liked, and I would have expected to remember a pizza restaurant in the Dentsville area. I certainly knew about the Pizza Hut on Two Notch more or less where the O'Reily's Auto Parts near Best Buy now is, and about Shakey's on Parklane Road. A 32-inch pizza sounds rather overwhelming, but the sandwiches sound quite good.
After Antonio's, it was a number of night-clubs and strip-clubs. By 1997, it was operating as L B Dynasty and got in trouble with the Department of Revenue leading to a 45 day suspension of the club mini-bottle license. Whether because of that, or for some other reason, it later became Studio 54, and was that until quite recently, I think (at any rate, the sign is still there). Despite that, it has been at least one other club, Club Gemeni before it's current incarnation as Club Ego
Paul & Ernie's / Limelight / Shangri-La / Diamonds Strip Club / Comedy House, 14 Berryhill Road: mid-2000s 21 comments
This building off of Saint Andrews Road is now an "Ultra Lounge". I'm not sure what it was built as, but I first recall noticing it in the 1980s, when it was a strip club, the name of which I can't remember. After that, it was for a number of years the original site of The Comedy House, now on Decker Boulevard in the old Winn-Dixie building. I think it may have been something after the strip-club and before The Comedy House and after The Comedy House and before Pure, but I'm not sure.
I saw a number of comedy shows there including one guy who made me laugh so hard it hurt, but whose name (or act) I cannot now recall at all. I'm not sure what happened to The Comedy House as it was non-existent for a long while after closing shop here. Normally if a place is moving just as a normal course of business, they will do it as quickly as possible to keep a revenue stream active, but I think it took over a year in this case.
UPDATE 15 October 2009: Added a bunch of extra names to the post title based on the comments.