Federal judge allows Texas strip club to reopen as restaurant without entertainers

Federal judge allows Texas strip club to reopen as restaurant without entertainers 1 Screenshot 20200512 042642

A Houston strip club lost a legal battle with the city in an attempt to reopen under the guise of being a restaurant only, and not a sexually-oriented business. Club ONYX’s preliminary injunction motion against the city of Houston was denied by a federal judge on Friday, May 8.

The ruling follows the club reportedly reopening earlier this month after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) allowed the state’s stay-at-home order to expire at the end of April and announced the state would be entering the first phase of its reopening process.

As part of the first phase, which began at the start of May, retailers, restaurants, movie theaters and malls were allowed to reopen in the state so long as they limited their occupancy to 25 percent.

Since Club ONYX generates less than 50% of its income from alcohol, it will be allowed to open, but “solely as a restaurant without additional entertainment,” according to the court’s ruling.

According to court documents, since GA 21 was issued on May 5, ONYX said it “ceased featuring ‘nude’ entertainment; the dancers are required to wear full tops and full bathing suit bottoms.”

“Dancers at Onyx Houston were not offering lap dances but were merely providing entertainment from a safe distance,” court documents said. Now, ONYX is allowed to be open, but cannot have entertainers performing, “even if the entertainers are fully clothed,” the court order said.

“The City of Houston is only responsible for lawfully enforcing the Governor’s order,” the court reportedly added in documents obtained by the station.

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