Kingston's only strip club appeals a municipal decision to shut down

The owners of the Plaza Gentlemen's Club say they will appeal the city of Kingston's decision to not renew the strip club's business licence.

It’s been a week since the lights at Kingston’s only strip club went dark. The Plaza Gentlemen’s Club was shut down following a decision by the city to not renew its business licence. Now the stage is set for an appeal. The owners of the club are fighting to reopen their doors.

The Plaza’s licence expired at midnight, Dec. 31, 2017. Following a regular business-licence review process, which involved input from Kingston Fire and Rescue, KFL&A Public Health, Kingston Police, as well as building inspectors, the Plaza’s business licence was not renewed.

“There’s general criteria that are set out in the business licence bylaw. Health and safety, consumer protection, as well as nuisance issues,” said director of legal services and city solicitor, Susan Nicholson.

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The club was shut down because Kingston Police didn’t sign off on the renewal. According to Kingston Police, a 32-year-old man was charged with drug-related offences and that’s why the police service refused to sign.

Under the bylaw, the Plaza must follow a number of special conditions to keep the doors open — 21 to be exact. They include: A licensee or a delegate, who is at least 19 years old, must be in the establishment at all times. No one under the age of 18 is allowed in. And the licensee is responsible for making sure there is no physical contact between employees and guests.

There are also guidelines in place for people working at the gentlemen’s club. Dancers must be at least 18 years old and obtain a licence from the Building and Licensing Division.

In addition to being a gentlemen’s club, there’s also a hotel with 29 rooms on the upper floors that cater to those in need. They have not been affected by the closure.

The strip club owners have filed an appeal. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 26.

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