Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Owners of a Southeast strip club want to relocate to the New York Avenue corridor in Northeast, months after D.C. officials fined the club and suspended its liquor license.

The Edge-Wet club, formerly on L Street Southeast, is one of several strip clubs forced to move as the result of development in and around the baseball stadium project. Edge-Wet owners are applying to move to 2046 West Virginia Ave. NE.

The club had its license suspended for 45 days in September, according to records with the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Board investigators cited 12 incidents, including a 16-year-old runaway girl being allowed into the club in January, and two stabbings, one in January and the other in November 2005. Also in January, police reported groups of people fighting near the club around closing time, using pipes, sticks and bricks.

Club owners said that in their pending application the club “will not affect the peace, order and quiet of the community” at the proposed location.

An attorney for the club could not be reached for comment yesterday. A business phone number listed on Edge-Wet’s relocation application to the District, which was filed in September, has been temporarily disconnected.

Club officials also say in the application that Edge-Wet “has increased [property] value at its current location” and will do the same at the new location.

The club would be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. from Sunday through Thursday, and to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, according to the application. The establishment also plans “light fare and entertainment including nude performances,” the application states.

Edge-Wet is owned by Capitol Hill Cabaret Inc., which is run by Martin Chernoff and Ronald Hunt, according to city records.

The 45-day suspension was part of a settlement approved by city liquor regulators, said Jeff Coudriet, director of operations for the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. The settlement also called for the club to pay $3,500 in fines.

The Edge-Wet proposal follows a move by Club 55, another strip club, to relocate from the same Southeast neighborhood to 3350 New York Ave. NE.

The bid has prompted opposition from members of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5B.

“We’ve been fighting hard not to have those sorts of clubs moving into the area,” Wilhelmina Lawson, a neighborhood advisory commissioner, said yesterday. “Folks have to make a living. I know they need to be somewhere, but we don’t want them here.”

The proposed location Club 55 is next to the offices and newsroom of The Washington Times.

An attorney for the club last month said the establishment, previously at 55 K St. in Southeast, held community benefits over the years and was featured on the HBO cable network for hosting the Miss Black Nude USA pageant.

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