The Glover Park Advisory Neighborhood Commission recently struck a voluntary agreement with its longtime neighborhood strip club, Good Guys Club, that contained an unusual provision: It would have forced the club to try to ensure that “entertainment personnel,” i.e., the strippers, enter the establishment only through the back door before 5 p.m.
The agreement was part of the club’s liquor license renewal process, which comes up every three years. The ANC protested the liquor license on the grounds that nude dancing is not appropriate in a family neighborhood; the proposed voluntary agreement represented the compromise that both sides had agreed on.
Good Guys has been open for nearly 50 years, though. Would fully clothed women who happen to strip for a living really destroy the family-friendliness of the neighborhood simply by walking on a sidewalk nearby? Is Wisconsin Avenue NW—a busy commercial street—really so pristine and wholesome that families would be disturbed by the mere sight of fully clothed dancers entering the club? (If so, would shooing them to the back of the building even help?) Would women who were patrons, not employees, be able to use the front door before 5 p.m.? And is it really a good idea to create a class of people who aren’t allowed to use the front door of an establishment?
After City Desk posed some of those questions, ANC Commissioner Jackie Blumenthal says the commission has changed its mind and will likely remove the provision before the agreement goes before the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration for review next week.
“It didn’t occur to me that using the rear door would appear to be discriminatory until you raised it,” Blumenthal wrote in an email to City Desk.” “The neighborhood’s concern is really about the behavior of patrons on the sidewalk, not performers… Thank you for making us rethink this issue.”
But why was the provision included in the first place? Blumenthal says the idea was to help minimize congestion on the already busy block where the club is located.
“To address the neighborhood’s concerns about the inappropriateness issue, particularly related to the continual traffic of families and children on the sidewalk in front of Good Guys, we also included a provision requesting that when possible performers use the back entrance,” Blumenthal wrote when initially contacted, before she later said the commission was considering striking the provision.
Read the original language of the provision here:
Good Guys shall use commercially reasonable efforts to have all of its entertainment personnel entering the premises before 5 p.m. do so from the rear of the premises, so long as such rear entrance is accessible, and the use of said entrance does not pose an unreasonable safety risk to the entertainers or to the establishment.
Stripper photo by Shutterstock