Strip club manager prepares to fight for liquor license after state crackdown
Article written by SCN. Additional content from fox8live.com.
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The owner of a New Orleans East gentlemen's club that just lost its liquor license due to drug and prostitution allegations says he may be back in operation by Thursday night, even though hearings won't be held until next week.
In a large strip mall in New Orleans east, club She She's' features as many as 70 exotic dancers a night.
"We will probably let some go. I usually work two bartenders. I'm not going to need the bartenders," said She-She's manager Darryl Porche.
Friday night, undercover officers with a state task force suspended alcohol licenses at She She's on Chef Menteur Highway, along with Visions and Passions on Downman Road after officers allegedly found workers involved in prostitution and drugs.
"Two of the three clubs did marijuana and cocaine sales, and solicitation of prostitution was found at all three clubs," said Juana Lombard, the commissioner of the Louisiana Alcohol Tobacco Control board.
A man who didn't want to be identified said he has worked for a variety of New Orleans strip clubs over the past several years.
"The drugs and prostitution is quite prevalent. I would hesitate to say there isn't a strip club that does not sell drugs," said the former worker.
And while he welcomes the crackdown, Porche believes he's being punished unfairly.
"I have five security people who monitor everything. I have signs everywhere saying we will fire them or call police if we find drugs or weapons. Some of this is overkill," said Porche.
The license suspensions is a continuation of ramped-up activity by the ATC board.
"Our goal is to clean them up not shut them down. I'm trying to make them better actors," said Lombard.
Earlier this year, just before Mardi Gras, the ATC pulled licenses on four Bourbon Street clubs, sparking protests.
The crackdowns are welcome news to those concerned about human trafficking.
"It takes a great toll because it keeps them trapped. They have to strip for their habits, so they are stuck," said the former worker.
Porche says he shouldn't be held responsible for his dancers. He says each one signs a waiver and is responsible for her own actions.
"The girls who work here are independent contractors," said Porche.
But the state begs to differ.
" You ultimately are responsible for activities taking place on your premises," said Lombard.
The future of the liquor licenses of the three suspended strip clubs could be settled next Friday. The Alcohol Tobacco Control board will hold a hearing in New Orleans on Sept. 7.
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