Downey nightclub trying again for go-go dancers

DOWNEY – Rejected twice before, representatives for Club DB Lounge hope the third time will be the charm when they appear before the Downey Planning Commission on Wednesday seeking permission to hire go-go dancers and classify them as live entertainment. The nightclub also wants to revise its conditional use permit so that it can remain open until 4 a.m., serve alcohol in its outdoor patio, and install valet parking service.

In a staff report, city officials sounded amendable to allowing alcohol in the converted patio that fronts Firestone Boulevard but advised against the other requests.

Club DB Lounge – which technically operates as a billiard parlor with live entertainment – initially used go-go dancers in early 2012 but that lasted only a few months until the Downey Police Department determined that the dancers violated the club's live entertainment permit.

In 2012 and 2013, the Planning Commission denied the club's requests to hire go-go dancers, concerned that they would "operate as adult business dancers."

"I am whole-heartedly against having scantily clad women dancing on platforms," commissioner Robert Kiefer said in 2012. "It's not what we want for the downtown area."

In regards to its operating hours, the nightclub wants to extend its closing time from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., although alcohol sales would continue to cease at 1:30.

City officials, however, noted that the commission has not approved any business to be open past 2 a.m. and live entertainment has always stopped at 1:30. Allowing the club to stay open until 4 a.m. "would establish a precedent far beyond the time limits that the Planning Commission has imposed consistently," the staff report says.

The proposal for valet parking was met with similar skepticism by city staffers, who feared it would negatively impact local businesses and cause congestion in the rear parking lot due to its one-way driveway.

Police officials also are concerned that nightclub customers would skip the valet and park across the street. "That possibility raises the potential for pedestrian vs. automobile type collisions," according to the report.

Nightclub owner Hayk Gevorkyan did not return a call seeking comment. Wednesday's Planning Commission meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.