Board suspends strip club's license for 31 days over two lap dances

Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 4:36pm

Two lap dances in 24 months could cost Gabrielle’s VIP Club 31 days of business. But they aren’t accepting the punishment sitting down.

Metro’s Sexually Oriented Business Licensing Board issued the penalty to Gabrielle’s on June 27 after they were cited for their second violation of the three-foot rule in 24 months. Metro ordinances prohibit dancers from coming within three feet of patrons.

Gabrielle Howell, owner of the West End-area club on Hayes Street, is appealing the decision to the Davidson County Chancery Court.

Gabrielle’s is only the third strip club since 2007 to have their license revoked for more than 30 days. Ken’s Gold Club and Christie’s Cabaret were both slapped with similar penalties in 2009.

The SOBLB had the option of revoking Gabrielle’s license from 31 to 90 days. The board voted 3-1 to suspend the license for 31 days.

But Gabrielle’s claims the judgment of the board was “not supported by substantial and material evidence,” according to court documents. The appeal also calls the 31-day penalty “grossly disproportionate to the gravity of the offending conduct.”

Gabrielle’s will remain open while the suspension is pending in court, according to Howell’s attorney John Herbison.

Christie’s Cabaret, which is no longer in business in Nashville, filed suit over their suspension in 2009, claiming the board didn’t follow due process. The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled in April that the SOBLB was correct in assessing the penalty.

12 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 8/31/12 at 7:00

Oh, for God's sake. A "three foot rule"? Who came up with that one?
It's the VIP area where men lay out hundreds, not dollar bills, for "contact".
I thought our economy was suffering and people needed jobs? Revoke the liscense and shut the place down for 30 days?

By: NewYorker1 on 8/31/12 at 10:16

What's the point in going if you can't get a lap dance?

Tennessee needs to lighten up. It's not that serious. I’ll be so glad when all these old heads in government die off so we can get some young fresh liberal blood in these political positions.

By: Ask01 on 9/1/12 at 10:21

The problem, NewYorker1, is many of those waiting to step in when the old guard finally lapses into total, incontinent, dementia have been either so deeply indoctrinated in the mantra and fitted with blinders so large, they will never be able to beyond their nose, or they have learned all the proper terms and phrases to appease constituents totally indoctrinated, they will be elected because they "talk the right talk."

In the south, my perception is people have a concept of keeping up appearances which would fit nicely into a 1950's sitcom, with the white picket fence, stay at home, always neat as a pin, mom waiting faithfully by the door, iced tea in hand (this is the south) when tie wearing, briefcase carrying hubby come home.

Everyone knows the facade is thin, and reality false, but the many, mostly elderly members of 'acceptable society' clings desperately to the fading image along with some younger initiates who, growing up in the fantasy, keep the fath.

Take heart, however. Many of us have actually ventured beyond the state borders and seen the light. Some have even trekked to different lands and are capable of extreme empathy with people different from us.

Change is coming, but the south will always have a certain sect devoted to maintaining the 'image.'

You are right, by the way. What is the point of even going? I suppose it is fortunate these folks have no idea what happens in some clubs in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, Berlin, and Hamburg. The rate of coronaries would spike exponentially.

By: Badbob on 9/2/12 at 9:12

gosh, an illegal lap dance once a year? The horror of it all!

Well, we re-elected a Mayor who built his reputation on this. We deserve all the ridicule.

Of course, this is a prime consideration in the location of conventions. And Mayor Dean removed Nashville from the list of most desirable convention sights with this silliness. And then spent a few hundred million building a new convention center. My bet is that the city will be paying for his self-righteousness many decades after he is gone.

By: Ask01 on 9/2/12 at 10:59

Badbob, I have been trying for years to spread the word about the dubious legacy with which Mayor Dean will leave will leave burdened. I more envision a financial quagmire, however, but am perfectly willing to add a debilitating facade of moral purity to the list of wrongs, even if hizzoner is not directly responsible.

We in America, particularly in the South, for some reason, have a desire to legislate our view of morality into law, creating an artificial environment.

Witness the so called "Blue Laws" which shaped the southern landscape for decades. On Sunday, the only businesses open when I was growing up were pharmacies and eating establishments.

Every other business was locked up tight. If a person missed church, you could rest assured the pastor and other members would be by to check up, partly out of concern, partly to be sure there was a 'valid' excuse for the absence. (Small southern town, go figure.)

From my perspective, we need to relax and let people live how they wish. Unlike a smoker befouling fresh air, or a drunk driver endangering lives and property, what harm is there in ogling willing naked women? Really. Explain that to me. I have a shocking revelation for the delicate sensibilities, but sex sells and men, by and large, enjoy watching sexy women.

Better they do such in a public licensed establishment than some backstreet secret caberet where there is little control.

By: Ask01 on 9/2/12 at 8:48

Oops, did not proofread yet again.

"Badbob, I have been trying for years to spread the word about the dubious legacy with which Mayor Dean will leave will leave burdened."

SHB "... the dubious legacy with which Mayor Dean will leave Nashville Metro burdened."

However, as my disdain for our illustrious mayor is well known by the regulars, I am certain they were able to figure out my true meaning.

By: govskeptic on 9/4/12 at 5:46

Ask01: I often wondered where your expertise lay on subjects commented on.
so I guess this just might be that area.

By: Kosh III on 9/5/12 at 7:43

What a waste of time and money. We don't need these conservative nannies telling us how to live---we are supposedly free citizens of consenting age capable of deciding how to live.

By: TITAN1 on 9/5/12 at 12:23

They should not be allowed to be open to begin with. Nothing but trash.

By: C.A.Jones on 9/6/12 at 9:58

That's odd... I thought we were free to live where ever the hell we wanted to. And if you live in an area where you don't like the laws... You move, right? I used to live in Illinois... I hated the laws and the politics there. So I moved!!! I prefer the political landscape here in Middle Tennessee. While i might not like every law on the books (this one in particular is pretty stupid) I like the majority of the laws here and the way in which they are enforced.

Basically, if you don't like it, leave. I don't want anyone to live here and be miserable. I would rather you move to some place where you'll be happy.

By: whitegravy on 9/6/12 at 4:00

3ft rule????how absurd........just grown men enjoying themseves in a controlled enviroment, not some sleazy dive......the pros-strip clubs are stress relievers, offer gainiful employement for semi-skilled girls, and tax revenue for the city....the con-the old heads on the board are trying to legislate a cute semi-nude girl entertaining a man up close and personal.......old men, its not a morality thing, ITS A MAN THING..............p.s what is that b.s. that yeleisal writes?????gibberish or what.

By: Ask01 on 9/10/12 at 5:55

For all those prudes posting here, please contemplate the following notion.

If you were to shut down these establishments, the result would be patrons and operators going under ground, out of sight and beyond even minimal control.

At least these establishments operate in the open, under the watchful eye of puritanical, I suspect celibate, zealots.

Perhaps you would prefer they open up secret clubs, with no controls, no security, and most likely fueling organized crime. Then, we could spend exhorbitant sums of money trying to legislate morality in this arena.

At least police, attorneys, judges, law enforcement, corrections officers and counselors would be employed.

On the other hand, if we loosened up a little and quit trying to legislate everything, we could save money by putting all of those I mentioned out of work.

Come, leave the 15th century and join us in the 21st.