Earlier today, the presidents of the Wedgwood Community Council, Maple Leaf Community Council, and Ravenna-Bryant Community Association as well as the chairs of the land use committee for the WCC and MLCC met with the owner of the proposed Pandora Adult Cabaret. This gesture of Mr. Walker was welcomed by the community councils; however, did nothing to change our contention that the Pandora Adult Cabaret shouldn’t be allowed by the City.
This meeting followed the request of Mr. Walker, who posted in the comments section of several community blogs that he would like to meet to discuss his 27 years in the adult business. All of Mr. Walker’s former experience was with Talents West, owned by the Colacurcio family, where he was the head DJ at Sugar’s, Honey’s, and finally at Rick’s Strip Club. Mr. Walker explained why he thought the infamous Rick’s Strip Club was so disliked by the neighbors and its immediate surrounding community as well as why he thought Pandora’s Adult Cabaret would be different.
Some details of note from the meeting is that Mr. Walker is the owner of the adult cabaret business but not of the land. He has entered into a lease with the land owners. Mr. Walker has also spoken to the owner of the neighboring Shanty Tavern, which most definitely serves alcohol (strip clubs aren’t allowed to serve alcohol in Washington State). Currently, the Shanty is opened two nights a week, but Mr. Walker recognized that this could change depending upon what the owner of the Shanty Tavern wanted to do. Mr. Walker’s approach though is that he would rather have intoxicated men/women come in and sober up in his club instead of driving elsewhere.
As we explained to Mr. Walker, while members of our community are not supportive of his adult cabaret, our community councils recognize his legal right to develop a strip club in the City provided that its sited correctly. We emphasized to Mr. Walker that our argument is not necessarily with him, but rather with the City’s issuance of his permit to allow him to work within 800 feet of an “established or otherwise recognized as legally-established” Child Care Day Center.
Mr. Walker explained that since Rick’s Strip Club shut down, he has essentially drove every street of Seattle looking for a site that met the City’s code. He used a map of sites identified as suitable locations, which was prepared by a third party, to help narrow down his search to ultimately 4 to 5 sites. Since our goal was to listen to Mr. Walker and not argue with him the issue of the City’s error in granting the permit, we did not bring up the fact that the permit for the Child Day Care Center, which is the center of our contention with the City and which was not identified on his map, was identified using his application materials and the State’s Department of Early Learning Child Care Check easily accessible online search tool, suggesting that the third-party map used to site the adult cabaret was inaccurate. Ultimately, he chose the Pandora site due to its access to a major arterial, its proximity to other commercial uses, and his perception of distance from residential uses (e.g., unlike, in his view, Rick’s Strip Club).
We are awaiting a response from the City to our June 15th email and June 21st joint letter detailing our opposition to the permit issuance. As things stand right now, Pandora’s Adult Cabaret is scheduled to open next Wednesday, July 6th.