Downtown nightclub cannot hire go-go dancers

DOWNEY -- The Downey Planning Commission unanimously agreed Wednesday to grant Club DB Lounge a live entertainment permit, but denied the nightclub's request to employ go-go dancers, fearing the dancers would be difficult to regulate and could set a precedent for other downtown establishments.With the permit, the 21-and-over night spot is allowed to host live bands, karaoke and disc jockeys until 1:30 a.m. nightly. Hayk Gevorkyan owns Club DB Lounge at 8206 Firestone Blvd., which previously operated as Downey Billiards. The two-story business features 17 billiard tables, a bar, dance floor and, up until January, two bikini-clad go-go dancers perched above 5-ft. tall speakers. The nightclub operated without incident until another business owner lodged a complaint with Downey Police two months ago. At that point, city officials became "deeply concerned." "The women wore skimpy outfits that Mr. Gervorkyan does not consider lewd or indecent," city planners wrote in a staff report. Gervorkyan removed the go-go dancers and applied for the live entertainment license, which planning commissioners approved Wednesday minus the go-go dancers. According to city officials, go-go dancers would push the nightclub "too close to the city's definition of an adult cabaret." Police officials said regulating the dancers and their conduct would also be difficult. Planning commissioners agreed, adding that allowing go-go dancers not only goes against the city's vision of downtown but could motivate other businesses to add go-go dancers as well. "I am whole-heartedly against having scantily clad women dancing on platforms," commissioner Robert Kiefer said. "It's not what we want for the downtown area." Commissioners briefly considered allowing the go-go dancers and regulating their outfits before deciding against it. "I'm not opposed to the go-go dancers but I'm opposed to their dress," commissioner Michael Murray said. "If we can get them in a blouse and long pants I would probably be in favor of it." Commissioner Hector Lujan expressed concerns over the dancers' suggestive routines. "If (go-go dancers) are helping them bring in customers, I'm all for it," he said. "I'm concerned about the dancing style not being conducive to other types of dancing that's not supposed to be here." City planner William Davis praised Gervorkyan as a "good citizen" and noted that the business has operated for several years with minimal incidents.

********** Published: March 08, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 47