Gentlemen Club and Police Jury headed for court

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

VINTON, LA. (KPLC) -A court battle has ensued over a so-called gentlemen's club near Vinton.. The people behind the club are trying to force the Calcasieu Police Jury to grant a liquor license. There may be a hearing on the issue as early as Monday.

The club is in a building where cockfighting used to take place off highway 109 south.  The corporation called Vinton Golf and Travel LLC wants to do business under the name, "The Gentlemen Club," an establishment that would provide what they call adult entertainment.

There are several other businesses like The Gentlemen Club in Calcasieu Parish but many people near Vinton don't want it. Rev. Rob Tibbitts is pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church.  He said, "There's all kinds of things that go along with this kind of business, the type of clientele that it would attract, what it does to women, the way it degrades and demoralizes women, we don't want that, we don't want our children passing by an establishment like that the way my kids would do every day on the way to school."

Tibbitts says nearly 1000 people--many members of some eight local churches and other concerned citizens have signed petitions against the gentlemen club. "Legally we may not be able to stop what's happening but we're certainly going to try everything that we can."

The issue came up a week ago before the police jury when the Vinton Golf and Travel Corporation doing business as The Gentlemen Club, tried to get a liquor license. According to a lawsuit filed by those who want to open the club, parish staff advised police jurors the application for a liquor license was in good order and complied with the requirements.

The suit says jury's attorney as well, advised that failure to approve the license would subject the police jury to a lawsuit the jury could not win.

Still with an eight to six vote, jurors denied the license... And now the dispute is headed to court early next week for a judge to decide.

There's conflicting information about whether the issue will be heard Monday or Tuesday. A court spokesman says Judge Robert Wyatt begins court at 9 a.m. Monday. We stopped by the Gentlemen Club and called their attorney Rick Norman to get their side of this story, but no one was available to talk to us.

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