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California

Strip club pressured into coronavirus compliance shuts down

Bliss Showgirls strip club shuts down.
Bliss Showgirls strip club had its doors and gates locked and a sign hanging that read, “Sorry we’re closed. The wheels fell off.”
(Andrew J. Campa / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles County strip club at the center of a television news sting because it refused to comply with coronavirus guidelines was shut down Friday.

Bliss Showgirls strip club, in Avocado Heights off Valley Boulevard, hung a sign on its locked gates and doors that read, “Sorry we’re closed. The wheels fell off.” It’s not certain if the establishment closed voluntarily.

Calls to a phone number listed on Bliss’ Instagram page were not returned.

Bliss did post early Friday on the same social media account that “Bliss Showgirls will be open.”

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It added: “Want to stay away from corona, come to bliss. We got 10-minute, 15-minute and 25-minute quarantine specials with your favorite showgirls.”

The advertisement came despite orders on March 16 and 19 from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department to close nonessential businesses.

Essential businesses were classified in the March 19 “Safer at Home” order as entities such as grocery stores, certified farmers markets, banks, gas stations and hardware stories.

The order is supposed to last until April 19.

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Fox 11 News sent an undercover camera crew out last week and recorded customers “flocking to the business,” which had “a packed parking lot.”

FOX 11’s team captured images of the strip club operating with a doorman checking patrons’ temperatures.

While Fox said the business was operating last weekend, there was no information on whether it had been open this week.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he was aware of complaints that the strip club continued to operate despite it being a nonessential business. He added that his deputies were monitoring the venue.

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Villanueva said that since the stay-at-home order was issued, his department had received a number of complaints about establishments flouting the law.

His deputies, he said, have visited some of those businesses and made it clear they would be cited and could lose their business license if they violate the order.

Some strip clubs in the city of Los Angeles moved quickly to close their doors.

The Spearmint Rhino issued a notice on its Instagram page that it was closing down on March 16, a day after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called on bars, gyms and entertainment facilities to close.

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The strip club said in the post it planned to reopen after Garcetti’s order expired on March 31. A call to the establishment was not answered.

One club that did face a little quarantine-shaming was Sam’s Hofbrau, which closed two days after the order on Tuesday.

“Keep your employees and customers safe because being open last night was completely out of line and unsafe … not to mention unlawful,” one Instragram follower noted on Sam’s post announcing its immediate closure.


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