Anti-Stripper Paranoia Puts Crimp In Local Music Scene

ENCINITAS, Calif.—The battle against strip clubs in Southern California is sweeping up establishments that have no connection to the adult entertainment industry at all, according to a report Thursday by the San Diego Reader newspaper. 

The Reader reported that Mr. Peabody’s, a nightclub in Encinitas—a city of about 60,000 a half-hour drive north of San Diego—was recently slapped with a fine of $3,000 under an ordinance designed to keep out strippers, even though Mr. Peabody’s is a blues club. The club has now been forced to shut down its music nights.

“It ended our Jam Nights; Blues Jam, Jazz Jam, all our Jams had to be canceled,” club owner Brie Cardosa told the paper.

Why? Because apparently the club’s patrons were sufficiently moved by the five-nights-weekly musical offerings to get up out of their seats and dance. And that’s a no-no under local laws—at least without a “cabaret license,” which requires an arduous application process. Mr. Peabody’s is now putting that application together.

The point of this heavy regulatory burden? To keep out strip joints.

“It seems to be the only way we can legally keep out strip clubs,” an official of the nearby city of San Marcos told the paper.

“The adult industry’s lawyers have seemingly been able to successfully challenge every other restriction to nude dancing around California,” the Reader report stated. “However the blanket No Dancing ordnances for restaurants and small bars is the only one that seems to work by opening up applications for adult entertainment to greater public review and scrutiny.”

So the fear of strippers is now cramping the local music scene in the San Diego area, it seems.

“Pappi Grande and his three-piece band, Blown Fuse, played at the San Elijo Hills wine and foodie bar, Café Stoked,” the Reader reported. “’If people got up and danced, I thought I might go to jail for playing my music,’ he said.”