Gentlemen’s clubs, strip joints – monikers vary but the public venue common to them all is women seductively removing their clothes for the entertainment and/or stimulation of (usually) men. Although the first use of the word striptease only dates back to 1938, recorded world history documents as well as fictional books and plays indicate the practice dates back over 400 years.
Strip club customers rarely complain about or even comment on the location or décor. As long as the performers are talented, prices are reasonable (very subjective), and the drinks aren’t watered down, nary a grievance is heard. But this lack of demand for variety didn’t deter these strip joint entrepreneurs from putting unique stamps on their establishments.
This Atlanta institution has been around for almost 50 years. The famous club attracts customers from all over the world including celebs like Ashton Kutcher, Bombay Bicycle Club, Marilyn Manson and Kid Rock and was also featured on Dave Attell‘s old TV show Insomniac.
Like most strip clubs, Clermont is regularly under attack by local government trying to shut them down but the similarity with other joints stops there. They serve no food or draft beer. There is one stage in the middle of the circular bar and strippers perform one-by-one to songs they choose from the club’s jukebox. In addition to typical fare, Clermont also features strippers between 45 and 60 years old as well as women with special talents like Blondie, who is famous for crushing beer cans in her cleavage as well as for reciting poetry she writes herself.
The proprietors of Ontario’s The Manor extend the proverbial olive branch to the religious community by transforming their gentlemen’s club into a Christian fellowship setting on certain Sundays.
Volunteers cover up the naked lady pictures and beer posters prior to the service, which aims to attract people who feel uneasy in the bric-a-brac of traditional churches. The first Easter Sunday service at The Manor attracted over 70 worshippers.
In a little town called Castleberry, just north of Orlando, Florida, a strip club called Rachel’s utilizes a unique marketing ploy to drum up business to the overwhelming senior population. On an annual basis, they transform the club’s VIP room into a pop-up medical clinic offering free flu shots to seniors.
As an added bonus, shot recipients are offered a buffet lunch while the club ladies entertain. Rumor has it over 300 injections a day are performed during the promotion…and senior flu suffering is definitely on the decline.
The entrepreneurial spirit truly knows no bounds, as Detroit legend Jay Thunderbolt proved. Thunderbolt, who was shot in the head at age 11 in a Detroit alley, needed a new source of income so he opened a strip joint…in the basement of his home.
After discovering ambiguous language in Detroit’s zoning regulations, he legally opened Club Thunderbolt. Nothing fancy at this club: its décor resembles a 70s rumpus room and customers choose strippers from the pages of a 3-ring binder. Rates are very reasonable: $10 per lap dance with panties on, $20 for a naked bottom.
Capitalizing on the universal whine of, “I’m sooo busy, it’s just crazy!” Club Cabare’t sweetened the stripper experience by encouraging patrons to multitask during their visit. The Peoria, Illinois club lets customers enjoy the strip shows while getting a pedicure or haircut, having their car detailed, or having a fresh shine put on their shoes. No reason not to be surrounded by naked or scantily clad women while the pedestrian parts of life get taken care of.
Nothing sounds more innocent or wholesome than announcing you’re going to hang out at the old school house. But when The Schoolhouse is actually a strip club now, it’s a different type of educational experience. The Neoga, Illinois building used to house Pioneer School but when the school closed in 2002, smart business people transformed it into a gentlemen’s club, which is still decorated with U.S. President portraits. Lingering Teachers’ lounge fantasies can be fulfilled in what is now called the VIP Room in The Schoolhouse.
It was bound to happen sooner or later and Portland, Oregon can generally be counted on to lean towards sooner. The city’s Casa Diablo is hailed as the world’s first vegan strip club, although it’s rather sad to imagine all that cheesecake isn’t real. The strippers adequately reflect the hipster attitude Portland is known for and the vegan menu seems to be the secondary reason people frequent the club. But to live up to its name (which translates to Devil’s House), someone has to sneak in a big, juicy hamburger.
Nymphas Show Bar
Strippers at this Israeli club seductively took off their clothes with a gargantuan aquarium in the background. An imaginative marine biologist turned the abandoned underwater building off the coast of Eilat into a strip club and patrons trekked across a 230-foot bridge and then climbed a flight of stairs to see the show. No explanation why the place closed but the location likely played a big part in its demise.
Climax Gentlemen’s Club
Although it closed in 2009 when owner Nick Fratangelo (aka Nick Climax) passed away at the young age of 58, Climax Gentleman’s Club in Congruity, Pennsylvania was one of the most unique strip clubs ever. Similar to the private peep shows in adult theaters, customers could get their jollies without even exiting their vehicles.
Strippers put on their shows behind a diamond-shaped pane of glass in a carport accessed by a drive-thru lane to the back of the building. The show was billed by the minute on a credit card submitted at the club entrance.
The 1960s are usually remembered most for political assassinations and sweeping social change but some really fun things also happened in that decade. For instance, Finnish architect Matti Suuronen had visions of changing the world with the Futuro house, a plastic home shaped like a saucer. While not even 100 were built and sold, one turned up on the roof of a building in Tampa, Florida. That site is now the 2001 Odyssey Nude Strip Club. For an out-of-this-world experience, patrons can get a private dance inside the saucer for $200.
Carnivores craving a strip show in Portland can pass up Casa Diablo for Pirate’s Cove, a combination of a theme park attraction and peeler club. The former dairy had a humongous white jug out front that the new owners repainted to look like a jug of rum from pirate days. They carried on the theme inside the bar where they created a mural depicting wild pirate scenes that patrons can fantasize about as they enjoy the striptease shows on stage performed with the mural as a backdrop.