A Leeds strip club has had its license renewed for a year following a council hearing on Tuesday 13 June.
Councillors were told by a representative of Whiskey Down that the Playboy Mansion-inspired gentleman’s club operated “safely” and “within the rules.”
They were also informed that the club had updated its dancer welfare pack to include details of trade unions, following a request from the council last year.
The strip club, which is reportedly inspired by Hugh Hefner’s library, is lined with bookcases and filled with wingback chairs and leather chesterfields.
Advertised on the club’s website there is also a ‘revenge’ room with a large sphere cage, cuffs and whips, and a bedroom in which performers are handcuffed to an oversized four poster bed for an ‘extended private show.’
It offers exclusive application-only membership tiers and describes itself on its website as a ‘super luxurious playground’.
Whiskey Down also features a Games Room inspired by Bruce Wayne’s Gotham Manor complete with a pool table and retro playboy pinball machine.
The club’s general manager, Marcus Bentley, told the hearing: “To my knowledge we’ve not had any adverse reaction from local neighbours. I think we still get on with our neighbours, the ones we still have.
“The most important thing on our side is the performers.
“Whatever they’d like we do try to appease them. I feel we’ve done that.
“We operate within the rules and I think we operate quite safely.”
The club, which is operated by Tokyo Industries, has had issues getting its license renewed in the past after receiving complaints from neighbours, Leeds Civic Trust and a local charity Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL).
In 2018, Leeds Civic Trust raised concerns that the club could cause ‘harm’ to the local area, arguing that it was ‘inappropriate for this important historic building (25 Crown Point) to be used for this function’.
The same year, SARSVL argued that “It (the council) should have adopted a zero tolerance of sex establishments policy but in the absence of this SARSVL does not believe that LCC should license these sex establishments as it is incompatible with the Equality Act 2010, Violence Against Women Strategy and Child Friendly Leeds policy.”
However, this week the council hearing was told that a routine visit by the police and enforcement officers had found no safety or welfare concerns and Whiskey Down has now had its license renewed for another 12 months.
Asked if there had been any criminal activity at the venue that needed to be reported, Mr Bentley said: “We can have the odd person we’ve had to eject.
“I don’t think any of those have been created into a police matter. We have very, very good CCTV capturing the front of the building and round the back of the Corn Exchange and we provide the police with evidence of crimes (in the area) which are not related to us.”
The club’s license has been renewed on the promise that Whiskey Down will keep to a number of specified conditions, including advertising restrictions.
Featured image – Whiskey Down