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Club bids to become Cheltenham lap dancing venue

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 10, 2012

The building housing the new Embassy nightclub

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A NIGHTCLUB set to open in Cheltenham this month could be transformed into a strip club during one of the town's showpiece festivals.

Bosses at Embassy, in Pittville Street, have applied for a sexual entertainment licence, enabling it to host lap dances during race week.

If it is permitted, it would be the only venue in the town allowed to host the erotic performances – after former strip club The Blue Room closed.

Critics of the move said granting such licences risked encouraging lurid behaviour at a time when the town was under the media spotlight.

But Embassy owner Leslie Grant claimed it would be a one-off annual event, carried out in a "discreet" manner.

He said: "The intention would be to limit lap dances to race week so they would not be held at any other time of year.

"Several other clubs in the town centre have had a similar arrangement in the past and it will just enable us to compete on a level playing field.

"If the application is permitted, it would not be advertised and we would take steps to ensure it was done in a discreet, tasteful way."

Other town venues which have been licensed to host strippers in the past include Thai restaurant D-Fly, in Clarence Street, and former night club Dakota, in Bath Road, which closed last summer.

A change in the law means club owners wanting to offer lap dances for more than 24 hours need to apply for a permanent licence. So far, Embassy is the only venue to have made such a bid.

The club, at the site formerly occupied by Mbargo, is set to open on February 25.

Councillor Jacky Fletcher (C, Benhall and the Reddings) warned the move should be carefully monitored.

"As long as it's done in a proper way I think it is ok," she said. "But we don't want this sort of thing going on all over the town.

"If there are too many, we might have to look at how to limit it as it's not the sort of thing we want Cheltenham to become known for."

The application is open to consultation until February 29. A decision will be made by borough council licensing chiefs next month.

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  • Coventrymama  |  March 22 2012, 5:49PM

    Hi stoosh- tell me right or wrong, has the owner of this establishment ever been bankrupt ? Have they ever been banned from being a company director ? Have they been involved in two recent restaurants that closed down in Cheltenham? Have they been involved in a building company in Cheltenham that folded owing a fortune to creditors ? If any of this is not the case then I will eat my hat....

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  • stooshe00  |  March 22 2012, 5:23PM

    @coventrymama- get your facts right, your grudge about this place got boring a long time ago! clearly got nothing better to do.... *yawn*

  • Coventrymama  |  March 19 2012, 12:42PM

    Oh dear, naughty boys, this place did not get the licence, ignored this, opened up then got raided and shut down by the police.... Another business success for Mr Leslie Grant...

  • DEvans  |  February 10 2012, 7:25PM

    Are there any jobs going - Im 67 now - quite sprightly male and willing to learn new skills.

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  • nikonman2010  |  February 10 2012, 3:47PM

    Ill tell my mother in law shes lookin for a job

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  • SG1970  |  February 10 2012, 3:30PM

    @Barry_Pong - I will join you as an independent witness, these thing have to be researched fully you know. I think we should visit other establishments offering similar entertainment to for a balanced opinion. It's going to be hard work, but somebody had to make the sacrifice for the greater good. Do you think we may be able to apply for a research grant from the government.

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  • Spud0  |  February 10 2012, 2:42PM

    "The intention would be to limit lap dances to race week so they would not be held at any other time of year" Degrading women and cruelty to animals all in one week, a real festival of horrors!

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  • Barry_Pong  |  February 10 2012, 11:17AM

    Well, I for one shall be vigourously inspecting this place when it opens. I may have to visit several times and partake of all services offered and inspect all of the girls closely. It'll be a tough job, but I'm willing to do it as my civic duty.

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  • Douglasknows  |  February 10 2012, 10:34AM

    Is lap dancing a form of musical chairs?

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  • Coventrymama  |  February 10 2012, 9:56AM

    Hang on, this club was due to reopen (again) in January, going to be all upmarket... Then it was due to open yet again this month for the more "mature customer". Now it wants to be a lap dancing venue.... What next ???????

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