Swinging Richards Sues North Miami Beach for Discrimination

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Driving on NE 163rd Street in North Miami Beach, you can't help but notice that several shopping centers contain sex shops that boldly proclaim their wares. And for 22 years, city officials long ignored a local law that prohibited three strip clubs from serving alcohol alongside naked dancers. Anyone visiting the city would think North Miami Beach is comfortably in touch with human sexuality.

But now that one of those establishments is catering to a mostly homosexual clientele and changed its name to Swinging Richards, North Miami Beach suddenly has decided it's time to crack down on erotic adult entertainment. That decision could end up costing city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal fees and a barrage of bad press.

Last week, the owner of Swinging Richards sued the city in federal court alleging that North Miami Beach officials are discriminating against the club because of its name and because it features all-nude male dancers. City Attorney Darcee Siegel notified Swinging Richards that the city would begin enforcing its law banning booze sales at fully nude strip clubs on May 16. Siegal was out of town yesterday and unavailable for comment, while Mayor George Vallejo and City Manager Lyndon Bonner did not return two phone calls.

Councilwoman Barbara Kramer says she couldn't comment specifically on Swinging Richards, but she believes the city should also apply the law to Dean's Gold and G5ive, the two strip clubs featuring nude female dancers. "If that is the direction the city is going, then of course it has to be enforced against everybody," she says. At least one resident agrees.

Mubarak Kazan fired off an email to Bonner pointing out that Dean's Gold and G5ive should also be put on notice. "You are the city manager of our city and should stop these businesses from breaking our laws and not enabling them to do otherwise," Kazan wrote.

According to Swinging Richards' lawsuit, the city grandfathered the club's predecessor "Miami Gold" and the other adult entertainment venues when the law banning liquor sales and nudity in the same place was enacted in 1989. Five years later, the city amended the law to include other prohibitions, but again the three strip clubs were protected, the complaint argues. But when the new owner -- who owns a male strip club also called Swinging Richards in Atlanta -- bought the space and changed the name, city officials have been trying to find any way to shut it down.

North Miami Beach blogger Stephanie Kienzle says she was told by a city official that all three strip clubs have been notified to stop selling liquor alongside naked dancers. However, she says the city is "opening a can of worms."

"The clubs have been there forever," she says. "The city can't object to renewing their business licenses because the city doesn't like the name or what they do in there. North Miami Beach doesn't need the aggravation this lawsuit will bring."

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Location Info

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Swinging Richards - CLOSED

17450 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami Beach, FL

Category: General

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12 comments
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Realtybites954
Realtybites954

City of Hollywod City Manager and Miami Dade Deputy Commissioner, City of Oakland Park, Miami, Coral Gables Very High Ranking Officials all in pictures at swining Richards. They will get the job done Muah 

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

 The police? The streets are flooded with the ejaculate of the homeless and you people are counting on the police?

Nobyindallas
Nobyindallas

This is ridiculous! People who have no sex life are trying to enforce a no looking at hot people naked law!?? No vale verga! That's wrong! Especially cause down the the street loose test can fly at your face, but a gorgeous hung Richard can't!? Hmmm

miami631
miami631

This place is harmless and it is all indoors.  Stay out and you don't see a thing.  Why not get rid of Hooters billboards while you are at it...  this is two faced crap!

Tony
Tony

That's what happens when our generation doesn't vote - we let the religious crazies, and repressed old folks take over.

Stripclubs4freedom
Stripclubs4freedom

Hey Mubarak were not in Taliban land you damn raghead!

sa
sa

discriminate towards others and it eventually come back to you when you least expect it.

Randy Conesa
Randy Conesa

I saw Commissioner Sarnoff in there last night. I thought he was District 2.

Andy
Andy

Marc is one of our regulars. He's nice enough to be helping us out on this.

Janet Guerra
Janet Guerra

Why in the world is Commissioner Sarnoff involved in this North Miami Beach issue???? Is he not getting paid to work solely for the City of Miami District 2? This is appalling.

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