Iconic Driftwood Gentlemen's Club Gets Makeover And New Name
Article witten by SCN. Additional content from marinecorpstimes.com.
For some driving down Highway 24 in Jacksonville, North Carolina, the off-white exterior and undistinguished sign of this business would hardly have warranted a second look.
But when, last week, the sign for the Driftwood Gentleman's Club went down, there were many unhappy patrons that commented on the internet.
The Driftwood opened their doors in 1979 and has been the place many marines spent their time after finishing engineer school, returning from the field or just to grab cheap drinks on a week night for a relief from life on Camp Lejeune.
Strip clubs come and strip clubs go. They line the highways and byways of nearly every military town. But for those happy few Devil Dogs in this place where the Corps calls home, the Driftwood was different.
Turns out, despite the rumor web of social media, there was no fire, no explosion, the Driftwood didn't go out of business.
It has transformed for a new era into a high class, shiny club.
It's new stainless steel "Platinum Gentleman's Club" sign are markers of new management and a new approach to serving the nighttime needs of nearby jarheads.
Joshua Crumpler and two co-owners purchased the club in December and began interior renovations - new carpet, furniture, dance stage and bar. They've added a state-of-the-art light system and staffed the place with nearly all active duty or military veteran managers and security.
Gone is the mismatched wallpaper that covered the walls. Now, a regal purple adorns the cleaned-out club.
Crumpler got his share of criticism for changing the name of the club that has stood for nearly 40 years.
"If you read the online comments, half of the people were upset," Crumpler said. "The other half, they're happy."
It was an immediate reaction when the sign went down last weekend, he said.
"We had to change the name," Crumpler said. "There were many changes that had to be done."
But, it is an evening venue. If folks cause trouble, they will be asked to leave, he said. There are rules.
Crumpler wants to focus on customer service, greeting patrons at the door, and communicating throughout their experience.
"We're running this place completely differently than any club," Crumpler said. He's a lifelong resident of the area and his father, other relatives and one of the three co-owners are military veterans.
Since 1979, the business has been owned and operated by the same family. Before becoming a topless bar, it served sandwiches and other snacks to hungry Marines on their way in and out of the main gate.
But, despite complaints, the business is moving along. Even through major renovations it has been open every day since December. And there are no plans to close, except for one day.
"We took over in December, and have been open nonstop," Crumpler said. "But, we'll probably be closed on Christmas."