September 10, 2008
One less SOB

The city bags one.

A Houston strip club shut down Tuesday after a state district judge ruled it violated a 1997 city ordinance regulating "sexually oriented businesses."

The Penthouse Club, 2618 Winrock, is the first one the city has shut down after years of wrangling over its ordinance governing so-called SOBs.

State District Judge Mark Davidson issued a temporary injunction Tuesday afternoon and ordered the club to shut down immediately. A trial in which the city will argue for permanent closure is set for Oct. 27.

Davidson's order is a major victory for the city, which has spent more than $1.2 million defending the ordinance against challenges by adult-oriented businesses, said attorney Patrick Zummo, hired by the city to help it enforce the law.

"It means that this ordinance that we fought so hard to pass and prove constitutional, that it will actually work," Zummo said. "We're not through. We're looking at other locations around The Penthouse."

I'm guessing the second such closure won't take eleven years to accomplish. I'm also guessing the clubs are assessing their other options, including relocation and the "bikini bar" gambit, though that apparently didn't work too well for this club. Still, I believe they'll figure out a way to avoid extinction.

So, any guesses as to whether or not the Penthouse Club will have its usual ad in place in the back of the Houston Press this week? Hair Balls, naturally, has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 10, 2008 to Local politics
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