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LAPD wants Xposed Gentlemen's Club closed due to nuisance activity

August 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Calling it a nuisance and a magnet for crime, the LAPD is looking to shut down a popular San Fernando Valley strip club and bar complex. But those Canoga Park businesses say they're unfairly taking the blame for a much larger problem.

Xposed Gentlemen's Club has been in Canoga Park for more than a decade. When it first opened, the area's zoning allowed strip clubs, and according to city officials, it is operating legally. But the LAPD says there have been problems.

"We've gotten phone calls from people saying there are fights inside there and outside, that there's some prostitution activity in the area. We've had reports of assaults," said LAPD Commander Andy Smith.

"They're saying we're getting complaints from the neighbors and from the post office -- the only thing is it's not true," said Brad Barnes, owner of Xposed.

Barnes says he has 96 security cameras, as well as security officers patrolling the area. He claims a number of problems stem from transients who drink and spend the night in the post office parking lot next door. He says the reports of assaults are not what they appear to be.

"If you read the report, one was a curling iron, one was a high-heeled shoe -- it's not like there's knives in here, it's not like there's guns in here," said Barnes.

In California, strip clubs featuring full nudity can't serve alcohol. In this case police are concerned because there is a bar right next door, also owned by Barnes, that serves alcohol. Customers can easily walk from one to the other.

"Technically I believe the two businesses are separate, but it's a concern for us when you have a lot of alcohol and you have a dance club like this," said Smith.

The LAPD took the issue to the zoning commission hoping to somehow shut down the business by revoking its zoning permit. On the property there is also a liquor store and a medical marijuana clinic and officials could argue the businesses are a public nuisance.

"We have to spend a lot of our police resources and a lot of time out there. We have to have uniformed officers out there a lot," said Smith.

"It's harassment," said Barnes. "It's retaliation. But we didn't do anything wrong in the first place."

The city's zoning commission is looking at the business and it has the power to force it to close. A decision is expected by October 4.


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