Tube City Almanac

February 13, 2014

Planned Nude Club Draws Protests

Category: News || By Staff Report

A "gentlemen's club" featuring all-nude female dancers is scheduled to open Friday in Christy Park, causing consternation among some residents and a pledge from McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko to block its opening.

According to published reports and advertisements, "Saints & Sinners Gentlemen's Club" will open on Valentine's Day in the former Chick's Grill at 3711 Walnut St., offering free beer and chips.

The club does not have a permit to serve food from the Allegheny County Health Department or a liquor license, according to Jennifer Vertullo in the Daily News.

Under Pennsylvania law, establishments that have fully nude dancers are not permitted to have liquor licenses. They may operate as so-called "bottle clubs," where patrons bring their own drinks or where drinks are provided for free.

Allegheny County deed records indicate the building is owned by the same Blairsville-based company that owns the Tri-Star Motors chain of car dealerships. Vertullo reports that Saints & Sinners will be operated by Scott Birdseye of Irwin.

Saints & Sinners would be the second "gentlemen's club" within the city limits. Beemer's, formerly Doneldo's Restaurant and Lounge in the city's 10th Ward, was converted into a gentlemen's club in 2006.

In a statement released this morning, Cherepko said he would "unequivocally oppose" Saints and Sinners from opening in the Walnut Street area, which he described as "semi-residential" and the focus of the city's redevelopment efforts.

"I believe this type of business will harm our efforts to recruit more businesses to this corridor, rather than aid in our progress," Cherepko said.

Cherepko said that Saints & Sinners did not have the necessary building permit, or an operating permit "to open and operate a business of any kind," and that if the club attempts to open without the permits, "I intend to shut them down immediately."

Birdseye, who has managed two other clubs in Pennsylvania, according to the Daily News, told the newspaper he intends to operate the club as an "upper-class" establishment where customers can "feel comfortable in a good atmosphere."

He told the newspaper that he is represented by a Pittsburgh attorney, is aware of the mayor's opposition to the club's opening, and that the club will defend its legal rights.

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