Every man is most fond of his hometown strip club, and for me that establishment is the Cheetah Lounge in Sarasota, Florida. It’s not that Cheetah is particularly better than other strip clubs in the world (though it is better than most), it’s that it is my strip club. It’s the one where my friends and I would go the minute we came of age. It’s also all-nude and they serve liquor, which automatically makes it better than like 80% of strip clubs in the world.
Yesterday I flipped open the local paper to find a story about how the county of Sarasota has been going to EXTREME lengths to shut this strip club down, including dropping a total of $23,424 since 2010 on everything from private investigators to undercover VIP room lap dances, and it’s starting to look pretty pathetic. Why does a city feel the need to throw tens of thousands of dollars at closing down an almost universally beloved establishment? When a local government is going so far that they’re giving one undercover employee $350 to drop on lap dances, tips, and VIP room fees, well there’s something seriously wrong.
Here are a few excerpts from the hilarious battle between the strip club and the city. Let it be noted that the city’s spending all of this money in an effort to find Cheetah doing something illegal, and as of yet it’s failed miserably even though they’ve dropped $23,424.
Shortly after 10 p.m., Richard Hill paid his $10 cover charge, politely declined the VIP upgrade and passed through an aisle of white columns and in the doors of the Cheetah Lounge.
For the next three hours, Hill blew through $350 at the north Sarasota nightclub on private lap dances and stripper tips.
Hill capped the night with a visit to one of the private rooms at the Sarasota club, where a performer in her late 20s named “Asia” with long dark hair and tattoo groped his crotch, rubbed her breasts in his face and exposed her privates. The two were joined by “Massey” for a second intimate encounter.
That December night visit was not part of a bachelor party. Hill was not a college student on spring break. He wasn’t relaxing after a hard week’s work.
In fact, Hill was on the clock — his time and expenses bankrolled by Sarasota County taxpayers. The night was the first in a series of scouting trips by Hill and another private investigator hired by Sarasota County to look for violations of the government rules regulating sexually oriented businesses.
The two investigators would spend more than 20 hours watching women remove their clothes on the dimly lit stage of the Cheetah Lounge, documenting everything they saw and experienced. They billed taxpayers for each tip they slipped to a dancer in a spending spree that was never vetted by county officials.
Their accounts, which read more like a smutty novel than a government report, were ultimately discounted by a circuit court judge for inconsistencies, leading to a recent ruling allowing the controversial nightclub to remain open.
Sarasota County has spent more than $26,000 fighting Cheetah and its owners through a legal clash that dates back more than a decade.
1.) Why the hell have I never been paid to go to a strip club and get lap dances? That sounds like the greatest job in the world. Not only are you salaried and getting paid your normal amount, you’re getting thrown hundreds of dollars to drop on lap dances that essentially become free.
2.) Why the hell does a city care so much about closing down a strip club? There are plenty of shitty things in Sarasota for the local government to worry about, and a lone strip club is not one of them. They should be focusing on the mobile meth labs parked in the beach parking lots, or the teenage prostitution ring that spread across multiple high schools, not the the Cheetah Club lounge that we all know and love.
To read the entire hilarious account of the stupid local government trying to shut down my favorite strip club you can head on over to The Herald-Tribune, because it’s actually quite a wonderful read.