The more things Jon Nelson, owner of Club 825 on Evansville’s east side, tries to change; the more they stay the same.
The owner wanted change. He admits he doesn’t like the crowd his nightclub draws, which is exactly why neighbors are against it.
But his controversial request appears to be all for nothing, after being bombarded by unhappy neighbors.
He’s pulled the plug on a bikini bar planned for his bar at 825 S. Green River Road.
He says it’s a last-ditch effort to save his nightclub from an “urban” audience. He says he’s trying to attract a different crowd with a new venue.
Nelson had plans to change the club over to a “Coyote Ugly” themed bar, complete with scantily-clad women.
He says it’s not a strip club.
“Obviously we’re wanting it to be sexy, but we’re not trying to promote nudity or x-rated,” Nelson says to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Nearby Montessori Academy isn’t convinced.
“(With) significantly abbreviated uniforms, it’s difficult to envision a better clientele being attracted to this nightclub,” says a woman speaking on behalf of the school.
Nelson was trying for a zoning variance, which is essentially an exception to the rule, to allow waitresses to dress in bikinis. He says he needed this variance because he was within 1,000 feet of a residential area, and was concerned about being shut down.
Board members initially indicated he may not need a variance, but didn’t offer any advice.
City officials seemed concerned about a bait and switch, and questioned where to draw the line on adult entertainment.
“Even though they’re telling us they’re not going to operate a cabaret, they could operate a cabaret tomorrow,” says a board member.
With his plan on the edge and neighbors squarely against, Nelson called it quits in front of the board, withdrawing his variance request.
Board members say nelson will have to wait a year if he wants to re-apply.
Nelson said he intends to sell the nightclub.