At Red Light Nights Gentleman’s Club in south Oklahoma City, lap dances are priced at $20 a song.
If Oklahoma City’s attorneys have their way, that and all other “adult entertainment” activities will stop at the longtime club just west of Interstate 35.
Attorneys last week asked an Oklahoma County judge to order Red Light Nights to stop operating as a strip club.
The city is complaining in a lawsuit that the club — which once was a country western bar — is operating illegally. The city is complaining the club’s location does not qualify for adult entertainment use.
The city also is complaining that the club is a public nuisance because it is within 500 feet of “an area zoned for residential use.” Directly across the street from the club are a sign shop, the sign shop owner’s house and an empty house. A block farther west — on Glenn Avenue — are four more modest houses.
The city is asking District Judge Patricia Parrish to order that “complete closure or restrictions on use of the property are necessary to maintain public health, welfare, decency and order, and to protect the community from harm.”
The lawsuit could mark the start of a crackdown by the city on strip clubs that have existed for years near residential areas.
The city sent a notice to Red Light Nights in September, giving the club 10 days to take action itself. The club’s owner was warned then a judge could go as far as to order the building demolished.
Four customers were shot at the club in June 2011 when a gunman fired through the front door from the parking lot, records show. In 2009, a customer died after being beaten by others inside the club.
Club owner Brenda Belflower said she expects she will fight the lawsuit.
“Hopefully, it all goes well,” she said. “It’s just adult entertainment like many more around town. I think that’s as good a one as any in town. I don’t go in there. I’m 72 years old. No. I just make sure the property’s kept up and everything’s in order.”
She said she is doing nothing wrong and that the place is clearly identified as for adult entertainment so that people not interested in that can avoid it if they want.
“I feel like it’s run right — the way it should be. They’re good people,” she said of the club’s operators.
At the club Wednesday, Red Light Nights’ chief manager declined to comment. The club’s attorney did not return phone calls for comment.
One nearby longtime resident, Kenneth Rasor, said he hopes the city succeeds.
From inside the bedroom of his house on Glenn Avenue, Rasor, 72, pointed outside to his white pickup. It has a bullet hole on the driver’s side.
He said customers at Red Light Nights shot at each other after leaving one night.
“The truck was sitting right there. If that truck hadn’t been there, the bullet would have come right in the bed with me,” Rasor said Friday. “I took off after them with a shotgun, but I couldn’t catch them. My old truck wouldn’t catch them.”
Next door, from her house on the corner of Glenn Avenue and Grand Avenue, Katherine McGowen said she at times is scared for her children.
The 36-year-old mother has three children living at home. She said they are 15, 10 and 6. She talked of the violence and noise from the club and of the danger from customers leaving drunk and driving too fast.
Another resident, though, said he has no concerns about the club, even when his granddaughter visits.
Sitting outside his rented house on Glenn Avenue, Charlie Troutman, 57, said, “They don’t give us no trouble. Never have.”