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Controversial South Salem Strip Club to Open Its Doors ThursdayKevin Hays Salem-News.com
Opponents and city officials say they will keep a watchful eye over the new club.
(SALEM) - A controversial south Salem strip club, that will feature nude dancing, will open its doors on Thursday at 11:00 AM.
Opponents and the Salem City Council fought hard last summer and fall to try and keep the OLCC from granting the business a liquor license.
They cited the fact that the club would be located in a residential area, near city parks, schools, churches, a school and city bus stop, and businesses that cater to children.
On August 28th, the city council voted unanimously to send an unfavorable liquor license recommendation to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for the following reasons:
"The club will be located within 500 feet in a urban or suburban areas or within 1,500 feet in a rural area of the boundary (measured property line to property line) of a licensed child care facility or elementary or secondary school; a church; a hospital; nursing care facility or convalescent care facility; a park or children-oriented recreational facility; and alcohol and other drug treatment or rehabilitation facility and will adversely impact the facility."
Chairman Brad Nanke also claimed that according to ORS 471.313, the applicant is not of good repute and moral character. The Board felt the presence of a park and possibly other facilities set out in OAR 845-005-0326(2)(a) within the 500-foot boundary of property line was grounds for denial of the license, and that the applicant’s moral character Frank Boussad, who owns Big Shots Bar & Broiler in North Salem, is planning on opening Presley's Playhouse Cabaret in the former Mike's steakhouse, 3803 Commercial St. SE should be examined.
However, the Oregon Liquor Control Board of Commissioners on October 14th approved the club's license. OLCC spokesman Ken Palke said board's decision was based on the fact that opponents, including the City of Salem, failed to prove any legal reason why the club should not be approved for a liquor license.
“Basically no license refusal criteria applied in this case” Palke said.
Midge Houck owns the property just north of the proposed club that includes the South Salem Immediate Care Clinic and Jackson Hewitt Tax Services.
She says that parking is a huge issue at the new club and former restaurant, and when the club opens she plans to have neighbors armed with cell phones walking her property looking for club patron's vehicles and having them towed.
Houck added that she plans on installing a chain link fence around her properties to keep club patrons away.
Salem Police Chief Gerry Moore says that these types of clubs that are currently open in the Salem-area do a great job of policing themselves from problems.
The last thing they want is police cars outside their business drawing attention, "It’s bad, really bad, for those types of business," he said.
Opponents of the club say they are only looking at the club's existence as a question of morality.
Faye Wright Neighborhood Association Chairperson Julia Allison who led the charge to try and keep the club from opening said she is disappointed by Thursday’s opening, but vows to keep fighting to keep strip clubs from opening in residential neighborhoods.
"The laws in Oregon need to be changed, not only to protect our children, but to make the community a better place to live as a whole" Allison said.
To keep clubs like this from opening in other Oregon neighborhoods, Houck, along with Allison and former Republican State Party Chairman and Gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix formed a Political Action Committee called Oregonians Protecting Neighborhoods.
“This is why we are working so hard to get our initiative petition on the November 2008 ballot, to amend the Oregon Constitution to allow state, county, and city governments to use alcohol regulatory authority and zoning authority to restrict the location and operation of any strip club and any strip act” Houck said.
Presley's Playhouse Cabaret will offer free hamburgers to patrons from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM on Thursday as part of it’s grand opening celebration.
Business hours are 11:30 AM to 2:00 AM Monday – Saturday; Sunday 4:00 PM to 2:00 AM.
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