Adult bars closed during crackdown Three clubs shut for violating zoning, fire codes

November 21, 1996|By Robert Guy Matthews | Robert Guy Matthews,SUN STAFF

Cracking down on after-hours clubs that operate as illegal adult entertainment bars, Baltimore city officials have closed three of them after a weekend of undercover investigations.

Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III said yesterday that the increased covert scrutiny, sparked by the recent fatal shooting of two college students outside a nightclub that was operating illegally, will continue into the weekend.

Club Colossus at 1049B Hillen St. and Simon Says at 600 N. Montford St. were shut last weekend by housing, police and fire officials for violating zoning laws and operating without proper permits.

Another nightclub, known by its address, 900 E. Monument St., was closed last week for violating fire and zoning codes, police said.

The crackdown was announced by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke on Nov. 14 to get the owners of illegal clubs to stop voluntarily. About 10 clubs, most outside of the downtown area, were targeted.

"I'm convinced some stopped what they were doing," Henson said.

Officials said that Club Colossus had nude women and lap dancing, charged admission, exceeded the permitted capacity of 150 people and violated 15 provisions in the fire code.

At 900 E. Monument St., nude dancing and an after-hours bar were found. Four firearms were seized in the undercover operation but no arrests were made, officials said.

Henson said the undercover investigations will continue because many of the clubs operate only on weekends or on one weekday.

City leaders are directing more attention to illegal nightclubs since two people were fatally shot last month outside Volcano's on Greenmount Avenue.

That club operated without a proper zoning permit for adult entertainment. Since 1994, several shootings and five violent deaths have occurred outside Volcano's.

Shortly after the shootings last month, the city closed Volcano's.

Thirty-four businesses have adult entertainment licenses in the city. To get one, the establishments must gain approval from the City Council, which has not approved any in two years.

Pub Date: 11/21/96

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