Two lap dances in 24 months could cost Gabrielle’s VIP Club 31 days of business. But they aren’t accepting the punishment sitting down.
Metro’s Sexually Oriented Business Licensing Board issued the penalty to Gabrielle’s on June 27 after they were cited for their second violation of the three-foot rule in 24 months. Metro ordinances prohibit dancers from coming within three feet of patrons.
Gabrielle Howell, owner of the West End-area club on Hayes Street, is appealing the decision to the Davidson County Chancery Court.
Gabrielle’s is only the third strip club since 2007 to have their license revoked for more than 30 days. Ken’s Gold Club and Christie’s Cabaret were both slapped with similar penalties in 2009.
The SOBLB had the option of revoking Gabrielle’s license from 31 to 90 days. The board voted 3-1 to suspend the license for 31 days.
But Gabrielle’s claims the judgment of the board was “not supported by substantial and material evidence,” according to court documents. The appeal also calls the 31-day penalty “grossly disproportionate to the gravity of the offending conduct.”
Gabrielle’s will remain open while the suspension is pending in court, according to Howell’s attorney John Herbison.
Christie’s Cabaret, which is no longer in business in Nashville, filed suit over their suspension in 2009 , claiming the board didn’t follow due process. The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled in April that the SOBLB was correct in assessing the penalty.