A group purchased the site of the former Anthony’s restaurant at 215 Bay Blvd. The new owners claimed they were going to open a comedy club and cabaret. I thought of finding my tux, dusting off some old routines, and auditioning for a gig.
Yet, when the place opened, it was called Eye Candy Showgirls, a nude entertainment facility. The city claims the new owners deceived them during the application process, omitting the nude part. The business claims it did nothing untoward, and they are prepared to battle in court. I’ll leave that battle to the legal folks.
The city of San Diego has stringent requirements for nude entertainment. First, the business must obtain an adult entertainment permit. The dancers must also obtain a permit. The police department grants the permits after fingerprinting, photos, and a records check.
There are other rules too, like no entertainer may be within six feet of a customer during a performance. There is no touching of specified anatomical areas, either during the performance, or any other time. The “anatomical areas” need not be specified in this column. You get the idea.
I read the article by our own reporter and the editorial by our fearless editor. The stories were complete, but being a former Chula Vista vice officer, I decided I needed to find out for myself what this Eye Candy place was all about.
I paid my five-buck cover charge, selected a seat near the stage, and forked over six bucks for a glass of ice with 8-ounces of pop. At that point I wondered if I had an expense account with the Star News. Later I learned I did not.
The place is very dark, including the stage, illuminated mostly by colored lights. It was so dark that even though I was in the first row I had trouble knowing for sure if the talent was really naked, a possible benefit. I watched three dances. I don’t know what wearing six-inch heels has to do with being a dancer, but apparently it does because they all wear them.
There is the obligatory pole in the middle of the stage. After the first dancer was finished something happened that would undoubtedly please the health department. An employee came out with a spray bottle of disinfectant and towel and wiped the pole down. I think this was because the dancers, as part of their routine, do a scissor-lock slide down the pole. You get the picture. Or, if you’re lucky, you don’t get the picture.
I think Eye Candy is probably a pretty lucrative place to work because all the girls seem to be well fed. They are friendly too. I don’t consider myself as an inherently likeable person, but at least two of them liked me. One called me, “Hon,” and another squeezed my shoulder when she walked by. Maybe they liked me or maybe it was the stack of dollar bills I had on the table.
The guy at the microphone announced they featured lap dances. The business card advertised “the only nude lap dance in San Diego County.” The lap dance is nude only because Chula Vista has no ordinances similar to San Diego that restrict nudity, touching, and distance from the customer that the dancer must honor.
The working of the law is that anything is legal that is not prohibited by ordinance. Because Chula Vista has no ordinances relating to this kind of activity, anything goes, or so the new owner says. The city says otherwise. I foresee subpoenas, interviews, writs, challenges, depositions, objections, motions, continuances, delays and everything else related to lawsuits, including appeals. Let the games begin.