The Richmond Register

Local News

November 9, 2012

City bans exotic dancing in historic district

RICHMOND — Jack VanWinkle says Sapphires, the night club he plans to open across Main Street from Richmond City Hall next week, won’t feature exotic dancers performing for his patrons’ viewing pleasure.

Even if he wanted to promote that kind of entertainment, the terms of his lease would not allow it, he said.

As of Thursday, the city wouldn’t allow it either.

The city commission gave fast-track approval Thursday night to an ordinance banning “dance establishments,” either public or private, in which an “entertainment dancer” performs in Richmond’s downtown historic district.

The H-1 zone runs up Main Street from about Madison Avenue to about Aspen Avenue and out Lancaster Avenue at least as far as Irvine-McDowell Park.

First reading of the ordinance was heard in a special-call city commission meeting Tuesday, with second and final reading approved in another meeting that began at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. All five commission members voted for the ordinance.

The ordinance defines “entertainment dancer” as someone “who dances, removes articles of clothing, or poses in a nude or semi-nude condition to entertain customers or to attract customers,” whether paid or unpaid.

Such businesses would be inconsistent with the H-1 zone’s purpose to preserve the historic and aesthetic integrity of the area, the ordinance states, by tending to depreciate property values.

VanWinkle, who attended the meeting, said afterward he did not know how the nature of his business he intends to be “an upscale club” came to be mischaracterized as a “strip joint.”

He did not seem to mind the attention or publicity that had been focused on the soon-to-open business.

VanWinkle has made a “considerable investment” in remodeling and furnishing the historic building next to the Glyndon Hotel, he said.

The club will feature a disc jockey and a small dance floor, VanWinkle said, as he gave a quick tour to a newspaper reporter. The bar will be highlighted by an elegant waterfall, he said. The club will not serve food.

Asked about reports of steel cages being prepared in which dancing girls were to perform, VanWinkle just laughed and shook his head.

The club, which will be open from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday will have its dress code placed at the door, he said.

Male patrons will not be allowed to wear

hats, caps, bandannas or baggy pants and must wear collared shirts, VanWinkle added.

Asked why, in light of VanWinkle’s disavowal, the ordinance was set up for fast-track approval, City Attorney Garrett Fowles said the action was taken as a precaution, “in case we need it.”

The ordinance may not be needed for the immediate future, he said, but was still an advisable step for the city commission to take.

Bill Robinson can be reached at or at 624-6690.

Text Only
Local News
  • Legislature passes road-spending plan

    Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a $4.1 billion road-spending plan on the legislature’s final day, avoiding an expensive special session.
    The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they would like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-16 Lisa Begley.jpg Police: Woman drove through storage business gate

    Richmond police arrested a Lexington woman Monday night after the property manager at Main Street Storage said she repeatedly drove her vehicle into a gate and fence at the 455 E. Main St. business.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local jobless rate for 2013 same as 2012

    Madison was one of 12 Kentucky counties with a 2013 jobless rate unchanged from the previous year, according to statistics released Tuesday.

    Still, only four counties – Woodford, 6.1; Fayette and Oldham, 6.5; and Scott, 6.7 – had jobless rates better than Madison’s 6.8 percent.

    April 16, 2014

  • Danville officials table fairness ordinance

    City officials in Danville have tabled an anti-discrimination proposal.
    The Advocate-Messenger reports that the move on Monday came after questions were raised about its legality and suggestions were made for changes.

    April 15, 2014

  • Grimes outpaces McConnell in first quarter

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has again outpaced her likely Republican general election opponent, incumbent Mitch McConnell, in fundraising during the first quarter — but she remains well behind McConnell in total fundraising and cash on hand.

    April 15, 2014

  • $250,000 wrecker stolen

    A representative of Barger’s Wrecking Service, North Porter Drive, reported to Richmond police Sunday that a black, 1996 Peterbilt wrecker with company logos on it was stolen from the business’ parking lot. The wrecker is valued at $250,000, according to the police report.

    April 15, 2014

  • Owner requests business zoning for corner of West Main and Tates Creek

    The owner of three lots at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue wants the property rezoned from R-1B (Single-family Residential) to B-1 (Neighborhood Business).

    April 14, 2014

  • Regents approve smoke-free campus policy

    The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.

    Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.

    April 14, 2014

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

     View Results