Board fines, shuts 2 clubs for a week Improper conduct, acts by exotic dancers alleged at Pulaski Highway sites

February 11, 1997|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

Two Pulaski Highway clubs featuring exotic dancers were shut down a week and fined a total of $750 yesterday by the Baltimore County liquor board for inappropriate conduct, administrative violations and allowing dancers to hustle customers for drinks.

Similar charges against a third club in Rosedale were postponed after its attorney, Republican state Sen. F. Vernon Boozer, asked the board for more time to prepare a defense. Boozer was "escorting Bill Clinton in Annapolis," said Chairman Philip R. Leyhe Jr.

The rulings did not please leaders of about 200 residents and clergy who packed a Towson hearing room to protest the clubs called Boomerang, Shakers and Backsides.

"A slap on the wrists," snapped Gary Adams, president of the Greater Rosedale Community Council, after Boomerang and Shakers were ordered closed and fined.

Added Nancy Leiter, a community activist who brought a petition signed by nearly 1,300 residents: "This is not justice. These people got off lightly."

During nearly three hours of testimony, board inspectors told the three-member Board of Liquor License Commissioners that managers of Boomerang and Shakers were not properly registered with the board and that dancers violated numerous regulations.

For example, dancers exposed their breasts, encouraged patrons to buy them drinks for $10 to $15 or promised to spend the evening with customers in a booth for $200, according to testimony.

Inspector Donald Crockett said that during several December visits to Boomerang, he witnessed a dancer named Hope apply whipped cream on her body and allow customers to lick it off for $1. On other inspections of the club, he said, other dancers exposed their breasts.

Inspector George Engle said he saw bikini-clad dancers "hugging and kissing" patrons at Boomerang and receiving "tips" of dollar bills in their garters.

Cho Chang Won, principal owner of the club, said after the ruling: "I had to change, too much competition from Washington and Virginia. I wasn't making any money after we went from a restaurant and then to a nightclub."

He said he would "be more careful now," but would lose money by having to close for a week.

At Shakers, several inspectors found in visits in November that dancers were hustling drinks and were covering their breasts with pasties or see-through Band Aids.

Inspector Richard Bromwell said a dancer named Kendall "touched my crotch" after he bought her a $10 drink. And Gerard Kilduff, deputy board administrator and chief inspector, said a man at a Shakers bachelor party sat in a chair on a stage with eight dancers "circling him" and rubbing him with their breasts.

Boomerang was fined $250, Shakers $500. The board ordered those clubs to close for a week, beginning tomorrow.

But to the residents of Rosedale, the clubs remain the latest example of problems that have brought an unfavorable reputation to the blue-collar community. Since 1994, residents have complained to police and county officials about prostitution and related violence along Pulaski Highway at the Baltimore city-county line.

"No matter how this all comes out, it still makes Rosedale appear like a sleazy place," said the Rev. Richard Florek, pastor of St. Clement Roman Catholic Church on Chesaco Avenue.

"Who wants to move to a place that has this kind of entertainment for their children to see?"

Pub Date: 2/11/97

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