Houston News : Defiant Houston strip club owner closes doors after police threaten arrest

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Houston police raid a strip club that opened as a restaurant Friday, May 1, 2020.

Houston police raid a strip club that opened as a restaurant Friday, May 1, 2020.

Photo: OnScene.TV

Houston police raid a strip club that opened as a restaurant Friday, May 1, 2020.

Houston police raid a strip club that opened as a restaurant Friday, May 1, 2020.

Photo: OnScene.TV

Defiant Houston strip club owner closes doors after police threaten arrest

Houston police raided a strip club that opened as a restaurant to circumvent the state’s new order allowing restaurants to open at limited capacity.

Club Onyx, located on Bering Drive near Richmond and Chimney Rock, opened at 12:01 a.m. Friday, the first day that restaurants and stores were allowed to open for customers at 25 percent capacity. Eric Langan, who owns Onyx’s parent company Trumps Inc., said the business was not a strip club – but simply a restaurant with entertainment.

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“We have a full-service restaurant,” Langan said after police barged into the club and shut off the music. “Everybody in there is ordering food. You have to order food to come in, that’s part of the deal. Yes, we have strippers here. That’s entertainment.”

Police contend the club does not fall under the new rules set out by Gov. Greg Abbott, although Langan showed media his Houston Health Department permit which lists Club Onyx as a “full-service restaurant.” The club is earmarked as a sexually oriented business on its license to sell alcohol, however.

Officers and Houston fire marshals entered the club as patrons waited to get inside, cutting off the music and urging Langan to close its doors. The defiant owner held out for hours until Houston police threatened to arrest him on a class B misdemeanor for allegedly violating the order.

Langan ultimately closed for the night but vowed to open back up Friday night. He said his paid employees have had a hard time getting unemployment benefits, and contracted entertainers had as much luck.

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“We’re ready to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem,” Langan said. “We’re trying to get the economy going again. That’s what the governor said, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Asst. Chief James Jones said the investigation is ongoing.

“It’s novel for us because of the situation we’re in with the executive order from the state,” Jones said. “There is some question of where we’re at. It says it’s a club, so that gives us our first clue.”

Langan last said he plans on opening the club at 7 p.m. Friday night.

Jay R. Jordan covers breaking news in the Houston area. Read him on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com | Follow him on Twitter at @JayRJordan | Email him at [email protected]





Houston News

Source : chron.com