The current owner of one of Oklahoma City’s oldest strip clubs complains he is about to go out of business because he is losing so many customers to rival clubs operating illegally.
Keith Edwards, owner of Cat Ballou’s, is asking a judge to stop one rival, Red Light Nights Gentleman’s Club, right away.
Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish agreed to hear his request July 18.
“We’re fighting this every night,” Edwards, 48, a former law enforcement officer, said one evening last week inside the club, which was open but had no customers.
Five bikini-clad dancers hung around a concession area, smoking and drinking beers.
“We suffer through it,” he said. “I pray and pray and pray. This place used to be packed — every night, 100 people through the door.”
He said Red Light Nights has been operating illegally for seven years. “Something’s wrong when you can take your clothes off in a regular establishment and nothing’s being done,” he said.
City’s lawsuit start
The unusual request by Cat Ballou’s owner is the latest twist in Oklahoma City’s crackdown on strip clubs that have operated for years without the proper permits.
Oklahoma City’s attorneys filed a public nuisance lawsuit May 19 against Red Light Nights.
The city’s attorneys told the judge the club’s location does not qualify for adult entertainment because it is within 500 feet of “an area zoned for residential use.” The city is asking the judge to ban stripping at the location, which used to be a country western bar.
Red Light Nights is at 3600 S Hattie Ave., just west of Interstate 35 in south Oklahoma City. Directly west of it, across the street, are a sign shop, the sign shop owner’s house and an empty house. A block farther west are four more houses.
Stripped of business
Cat Ballou’s owner filed a legal motion June 23 to intervene in the lawsuit. He complains city attorneys are not moving fast enough.
He told the judge Cat Ballou’s has been in operation almost 40 years at its location on SE 29 but now “is almost out of business.”
City attorneys want the judge to keep Cat Ballou’s owner out of their lawsuit. City attorneys told the judge they will file the “appropriate motions” in the case once Red Light Nights responds to requests for information. Those responses are due July 15.
Red Light Nights’ attorneys are fighting the lawsuit.
Red Light Nights’ attorneys told the judge the club “is in the process of applying for a variance,” which will allow it to operate at the current location. The attorneys asked the judge to put off the lawsuit until the city rules on the variance request.
Another club in trouble?
Another Oklahoma City strip club that may be operating illegally is Amanda’s Place at 3304 SW 29. After city inspectors and vice police officers visited Amanda’s Place in December 2012, its then-owner was charged in Oklahoma City Municipal Court with permitting adult entertainment without the proper permit. The case is still pending, city records show. The present owner of Amanda’s Place could not be reached for comment.