About four weeks ago, Kevin Green, who apparently knows me from Parkway Tropics, approached me via instant message on my Facebook page. He sent an IM that said he was going to call me about a job opportunity. Sure enough, several minutes later I get a phone call. Kevin tells me that he has just been hired as the general manager of a new strip club that is opening up on New Year’s Eve in Mt. Pleasant. He sends me to a Facebook page for “Central Show Girls Gentlemen’s Club”, which is supposedly located on S. Mission St. in Mt. Pleasant. He goes into details about the club; that this will be a topless bar serving alcohol, will feature female dancers during the week and will feature male dancers on Sundays. He says that several bartenders, several bouncers, a group of 5-6 male dancers, and a group of approximately 24 female dancers (mostly from Central Michigan University’s cheerleading squad) have been hired and that they are starting to fill in other positions. Sure enough on this Facebook page are pictures of the interior of the club, the male and female dancers, the bouncers, the bartenders, and the owners. Of course, I’m interested in any opportunity to ply my trade on a regular basis. I’m given some additional information and told that I will be contacted later in the week.
A few days later I’m talking to a dancer friend about this new opportunity. Come to find out that she was approached about dancing there. She told me that she is suspicious about the entire deal and tells me that the interior shots of the club look suspiciously like pictures of a completely different club she found on the Internet. She then tells me that she doesn’t trust Kevin as far as she can throw him. When I tell her that he’s the general manager, she tells me that she’s not interested in working there and that Kevin “creeps me out”. After her suspicions were revealed to me, I calmed my enthusiasm about this club until I could see the physical building myself.
November 1, Kevin once again contacts me. He tells me that the minority owner wants to talk to me right away. The minority owner is supposedly an 18-year-old kid by the name of Zackery Lopez. Lopez, I’m told, is somewhat affiliated with Red Barn (I was told he was a DJ there at one point). Within a matter of minutes, I’m involved in a conference call with Zack and Kevin. Zack asks me about my background and I tell them the clubs I’ve worked for and the experience I’ve had. He wants to know if I ever worked turntables. I told them no. Zack is apparently looking for a mix club DJ. I told him that was what Angel’s Gentlemen’s Club in Kalamazoo was looking for when they were first hiring people during the remodeling of the Country Palace. I told him they found out real fast that having a mix club DJ in a strip club environment doesn’t work and that the format for their DJs was now the same as every other club I’ve worked at or frequented as a customer in the entire state. My extensive knowledge and 18 plus year history of the business apparently sell Zack and I’ve got the job. We finish the conference call and I’m told that there will be a meeting soon and I’ll be contacted again.
November 8, Zack calls me again. He tells me that a meeting will be held on the 11th at a restaurant in Mt. Pleasant. Supposedly the club is being fumigated on the 10th and 11th so the meeting cannot take place there. I find that very suspicious. He asks me what shift I want to work and my response is day shift. He tells me that I’ll be working a 12-hour shift from 11am to 11pm, I have to sign a minimum one-year contract, and that I have to give 60 days notice if I quit so they can find another experienced DJ. In all my years of working in this business, the only club I remember signing a contact for was Sensation’s and the terms weren’t that Draconian. I tell Zack that a 12-hour shift is way too long for anyone and that I was used to a 7-8 hour shift. During my phone conversation, he is supposedly chatting via Internet with the primary owner (a guy named Greg who supposedly owns several strip clubs in Las Vegas). According to Zack, Greg shoots down the idea of shortening the shift. He tells me that I’ll get a phone call from Kevin on Tuesday with the address of the meeting.
The next night, Zack calls me at approximately 9:45 to tell me that there has been a death in his wife’s family and that the meeting for that Wednesday was cancelled. He gets my email address so he may send me an application to the club and tells me that I’ll get a phone call from Kevin and from Greg later in the week. The phone calls never happen.
Meanwhile, my suspicions are still in the back of my mind. I contact someone who has extensive connections in the industry and see if he’s heard anything about a new strip club. He hasn’t. He tells me that anyone who wants to remodel a club or get a liquor license has to go through the city, usually to their zoning or planning commission and the full city commission. If there have been meetings between Zack and the city (which Zack claims happened) then there should be a record of it in the planning commission and city commission meeting minutes.
I go online to the website for the city of Mt. Pleasant. I find the page for the planning and zoning commission. The meetings of their minutes are posted online. I search the meetings for the entire year of 2009. Not one mention of a remodel or liquor license application for a Central Show Girls Gentlemen’s Club. I then go to the city commission page and find the minutes of their meetings. I go back to June of this year through their minutes, again, not one mention of Central Show Girls.
I then decide to go to the Liquor Control Commission website. I find a search engine to find active and escrowed liquor licenses. I search by county and by business name. Nothing. I then find a list by county of all active liquor licenses. This list was compiled by the LCC and was updated on October 25th. Nothing. I called the LCC’s Records Unit of Licensing and asked if there was a liquor license issued to Central Show Girls on S. Mission St. in Mt. Pleasant. Nothing. I tell them that this may be a pending license. They perform a search. There is one application pending for S. Mission St. in Mt. Pleasant and LCC gives me the name of the corporation and the address where this license issuance is pending. I searched the Dept. of Labor and Economic Growth website for corporation papers or DBA papers for Central Show Girls. Nothing. I searched for the corporate papers of the corporation that LCC tells me about. The corporation exists, but they are not doing business as a nightclub or strip club. This really gets weird.
I finally sent an email to Jeff Gray, the Director of Planning and Community Development for Mt. Pleasant. I asked about a proposed strip club. Here’s what I got as a reply…
“We have not been approached about a strip club. There are no applications in and it has not been considered by the Planning Commission, so that is news to me. Do you know the proposed location?
There is a small part of south Mission (old WalMart) that is outside of the City in Union Township, so you may want to also check with them too.”
So I checked with Union Township and talked to Woody in the zoning department. Nobody has approached them with even so much as an inquiry about opening a strip club.
I find out last week that Zack’s profile on Facebook is gone. Kevin tells me that Facebook suspended Zack’s account, but the Central Show Girls page is still up. Not anymore as of November 15. Very suspiciously, the Central Show Girls page is now also gone.
I should have been suspicious of this from the very beginning for many reasons. The first giveaway should have been the dancers that were “hired”. CMU cheerleaders? Looking back, that should have been a dead giveaway. There is no way in hell that college cheerleaders are going to risk their spot on the squad and the possibility of someone they know walking into the club to strip for a living.
Also, why would a supposedly successful strip club owner in Las Vegas have anything to do with an unknown commodity in Michigan? That also makes no sense to me.
Another giveaway should have been the hours of operation for this club. They wanted to operate from 11am to 5am daily. I told Kevin that LCC regulations would not allow it; that the club could not serve past 2am and that all customers had to leave by 2:30am unless a special permit was issued and that even with the special permit all customers had to be out by 4am. He assured me that the club could stay open until 5am. Several days later, I sent Kevin a link to the LCC enforcement page that specifically states what I told him. The hours of operation were then finally changed. Someone who is going to own or manage a club should be aware of LCC regulations, or at least have some knowledge before applying for a liquor license.
Another giveaway should have been the opening night. Supposedly, Zack has a relative (Chris Iteen from Extreme Sound & Entertainment) who is the road manager for the rock band Pop Evil. Zack told me that they had booked Pop Evil to play music and that Kid Rock and Eminem were going to be there for the New Year’s Eve opening night. My thoughts: highly unlikely. Especially considering that according to Pop Evil’s own MySpace page, they are going to be in Pontiac at the Crofoot Ballroom that night. Where’s that eye roll smiley?
Finally, I should have been suspicious when the city of Mt. Pleasant throws a hissy fit about a tattoo parlor relocating from Utica Township to the city of Mt. Pleasant, yet a strip club is opening and no one says a word. There were stories about the tattoo parlor in the Morning Sun, the Mt. Pleasant newspaper, but not one word about a new strip club (especially considering the controversy about Mt. Pleasant keeping Hooter’s out of their city.)
Here’s what I can’t understand…what is the payoff? The only possibilities I can come up with are either getting attention from the dancers, obtaining personal information, or trying to lure naïve girls to an isolated location for who knows what. I know that many dancers at Parkway Tropics were approached about dancing at this “new” club. In fact, Kevin was kicked out of Parkway and banned until the end of the year for recruiting girls. I can only imagine that dancers at Lady Godiva’s, Sensation’s, Red Barn, and Tini Bikini’s were also approached about working at this “new” club. Kevin also told me that Cool Mike from Sensation’s was hired as a manager for the new club. I hope that Cool Mike is reading this and doesn’t get his hopes up like I did. Based on my investigation, this club is never going to materialize.
I feel really bad for the girls who were approached about this new club with promises of lodging, day care for their children, transportation, and lots of money. Yes, these were the promises made to these girls. I’m angry that someone spread lies like this and for what reason.
I can tell you of action I have taken. I have printed this posting and will place it in the dressing room of Parkway Tropics as an abject lesson of being careful of whom to trust. I have blocked Kevin Green from my Facebook account and highly recommend that any strip club dancer or employee do the same, whether or not they have been approached for this bogus club. I'll be taking steps to ensure that Kevin Green and Zack Lopez are banned from Parkway Tropics for life.
I hate liars. Many people were lied to; most importantly I was lied to. Kevin, Zack, the jig is up. Next time you want to spread fiction, I suggest going to a website dedicated to that purpose. www.writing.com may be a good place for you two to start.