Harris County Prosecutors Are Trying to Shut Down an After-Hours Strip Club
A $10 solo cup of watered-down booze hardly counts as paradise.
Facebook screenshot, Paradise City Southwest
The Harris County Attorney's Office is seeking a permanent injunction against a southwest Houston after-hours strip club prosecutors say is selling liquor without a license.
According to a petition filed in Harris County District Court Monday against Paradise City Southwest (9870 Westpark Drive), undercover Houston Police Department vice officers bought vodka-cranberry cocktails from bartender Andrea Dancy and manager Arthur Cisneros, who were subsequently charged with misdemeanor liquor violations. (The club otherwise advertises as a "BYOB" establishment.)
The undercover officers conducted the operation May 13, and paid $10 each for the drinks, poured in "small red cups" — after a $10 cover — a price that to us sounds like yet another crime, unless they were strong pours. Then, "to blend in with the patrons, and maintain our [undercover] status," the officers tipped two of the dancers.
From the report:
"After a short period of time, I was approached by a female dancer who introduced herself as 'Javon.' We engaged in a short conversation, and I gave her $10 dance tips. She then told me that she had to use the restroom and left. After she left, another female dancer walked up to me and introduced herself as 'Hollywood'....I was not able to make prostitution cases on them."
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According to a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission enforcement agent's affidavit, Paradise City Southwest lacks a liquor license. A previous strip club operating in the same space, HOTTYZ, had a license that expired in January 2014.
The club's Facebook page shows that it opened June 12 — with $1 tacos, no less — and proclaimed to be "the baddest club in the city"
Also named as a defendant is the property owner, operating as Westpark Shopping Center, who has allegedly "knowingly tolerate[ed] the nuisance activity and further fail[ed] to take reasonable attempts to abate" it.
Reached by phone, bartender Dancy, 25, told the Houston Press she wasn't working the night of the police sting. Harris County District Clerk records show that Dancy pleaded guilty in 2012 to violating the city's strip club ordinance by fondling a customer's rear while she worked as a dancer at Fetish Cabaret. (She ultimately served four days in Harris County Jail.)
When asked about that charge, Dancy hung up.
Manager Cisneros, 49, pleaded guilty in 2012 to operating a strip club, Privilege Adult Cabaret, without a permit. He was ordered to pay a $100 fine. (Just to underscore that: Dancy, who was 20 at the time, served four days for touching a customer's butt.)
We reached out to Westpark Shopping Center's registered agent, identified in the court records as Chen Jian, but the woman who answered the phone said Jian wasn't in and hung up before we could leave a message. Subsequent calls went unanswered.