Plan to reopen strip clubs with outdoor adult entertainment in masks raises eyebrows in Providence

Coronavirus
Club Fantasies in Providence, Rhode Island (Google Maps)

Club Fantasies in Providence, Rhode Island (Google Maps)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Providence are trying to help strip clubs get back in business amid the pandemic, but the new plan is raising eyebrows.

WPRI reports the city’s board of licenses approved a proposal by four competing businesses to allow outdoor adult entertainment. Club Desire, The Cadillac Lounge, Club Fantasies and The Foxy Lady teamed up to make the ask.

“We’re all in the same businesses — what’s good for one club is good for the other,” Club Fantasies owner Frank DeLuca told WPRI.

The clubs proposed reopening with dancers and customers wearing masks, tables at least eight feet apart, indoor seating limited to 50% capacity and plexi-glass barriers around stages.

The problem? Dancers aren’t interested.

DeLuca said one dancer showed up. The dancers, who are independent contractors, felt they wouldn’t make as much if they weren’t allowed to do side dances, which is the industry term for lap dances, according to WPRI.

“That’s all we can do right now, which I don’t understand why when they can have massage parlors open,” he said to WPRI, comparing his problem to another high-contact field that has been allowed to resume business. “Our entertainers, we can have them wear gloves and a mask and have them do a side dance. They’re not going to catch anything standing in front of the guy.”

The dancers aren’t the only ones with concerns.

Owners and managers say they’re shocked that Providence is allowing adult entertainment outside with one manager calling it “a little over the top.”

Some with clubs allowed to resume business are putting off reopening plans until they’re confident business will be profitable.

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