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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It pays to peddle T & A

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 12:49 PM

In case you're curious, The Mecklenburg Times is reporting adult clubs are faring just fine in the Great Recession.

It started with a little dive bar on South Boulevard.

David Baucom, then working for the City of Charlotte supervising tree maintenance crews, bought the neighborhood watering hole near Dilworth in the early 1980s. Over the years, he experimented with different themes: For a while it was a biker bar. Next, he jumped on the country music bandwagon. Then he turned it into a rock club, packing in the big-hair, Spandex-clad crowd.

In 1987, he decided to go in another direction, this one involving scantily clad women dancing on stage for money. He called it Leather and Lace.

“Things just clicked,” said Baucom, who quit his job with the city to focus full-time on the strip club, doing everything from serving drinks to working the door. His wife, Jackie, worked as a waitress and dancer.

Today, Baucom owns a dozen adult nightclubs in the region — including Baby Dolls, The Gold Club and six others in Charlotte — and a club in Panama City, Panama.

While most Charlotte boosters may not acknowledge it, these types of establishments — there are about 20 in Charlotte — play a vital role in the local economy, employing hundreds and helping infuse the area with cash, even if it is mostly in $1 denominations.

According to Angelina Spencer, the U.S. has close to 4,000 strip clubs with an economic impact of $15 billion annually. Spencer, herself a former dancer and club owner, is managing director of the Association of Club Executives (ACE), a Washington, D.C.-based industry trade group with more than 1,400 members.

Read the rest of this article, by Sam Boykin, here.

Um ... who goes to The Gold Club to eat? Wait. Don't answer that. From April 2008:

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