Eight Months After FW Mayor, AA Fought Topless Bar Near DFW, Judge Rules for Rick's

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Remember, way back in January, when then-Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief and the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport were in a huff -- a downright tizzy! -- over Rick's Cabaret's plans to take off its top but a hop, skip and lap dance away from American Airlines' HQ on the south side of DFW? Come on, sure you do. No? Then let me refresh your memory. Just stuff your ones in the waistband. No, thank you.

Long story short: Moncrief and the airport board were positively appalled at the prospect of having a gentleman's joint so close to the airport. In a letter of protest sent to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Administrator Alan Steen, the mayor cited myriad reasons, among them the "threat of inebriated patrons" and "increased criminal activity," including "drugs, gambling, prostitution, firearms and engaging in organized criminal activity."

His letter, along with protests filed by the airport board and other Airport Freeway neighbors, kept the club from getting its liquor license -- and right before the Super Bowl too. Which was just fine with Rick's president Eric Langan, who opened the joint as BYOB -- which meant the entertainers had the option of going topless or taking it all off, which is how it's been ever since. (So I was told by the nice woman who just answered the phone. What?) Meanwhile, the protests also sparked a hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

That process began in earnest in April, according to the SOAH docket, with American Airlines leading the charge to deny Rick's its permitting paperwork. But, long story short, last week Administrative Law Judge Monica Garza handed down her lengthy ruling, which TABC received yesterday, in which she declares Rick's the winner. Writes Garza:
As grounds, the Protestants alleged that the place or manner in which Applicant may conduct its business warrants the refusal of the permits based on the general welfare, health, peace, morals, and safety of the people. Having reviewed the evidence and arguments presented by the parties, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) finds there is not a sufficient legal basis for denial of the permits. Therefore, the ALJ recommends that TABC issue the requested permits.
The judge's so-called proposal for decision, which lays out how this whole thing played out, follows. Dee Kelly Jr., American Airlines' attorney, tells Unfair Park we should ask corporate for comment; they're working on getting us a statement. Messages have been left for Langan. (Update: No comment.) Because this is far from over:

American Airlines or the other protesting parties have 15 days to file a response to Garza's proposal, and if they do that, then Rick's has another 15 days to respond. If nothing happens, then TABC's assistant administrator, Sherry Cook, decides whether to accept the judge's decision or kick it back. She has 45 days to do that. And then and then and then. This could drag out for a long time.

Best-case scenario for Rick's is the company gets the permit in 60 days; worst-case scenario, it takes this to district court. "They're on first base," says a TABC legal rep with whom I spoke, "but they're far from home." Which should be Rick's new slogan.Ricks Airport Cabaret
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12 comments
BCulbreath
BCulbreath

Very reason convention business is down ,no one ,wants to visit dead place close at 12 ,and no fun.It's silly ,two bars ,denied permit on Greenville Ave by CPC .Garden Restaurant denied right to serve wine based on fear of future use of facility.City Council might think this is all cute to put people out of business .but word gets ,around about these holy then thou people who want no walk up entertainment districts in their area.Greenville Ave was entertainment before some of those people moved there now its being closed down,same thing happen to West End and Deep Elm.

Guest
Guest

Welcome to Business-Friendly Texas, where it only takes eight months of costly litigation to start the ball rolling on getting your business fully up and running.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Why next thing you know they'll be selling alcohol in the airport or even right on board the planes! Clearly, demon rum must be stopped before such a calamity can befall the good, sober people of American Airlines.

Jim
Jim

"Protestants" .......maked me laugh at every occurance in the legal papers.

NewsDog
NewsDog

I think it would be fun if Rick's won and was able to get the permits but opted to stay BYOB & fully nude just to spite everyone.

LaceyB
LaceyB

This is an awesome lawsuit to follow, because it is completely based on personal opinion of what American THINKS its customers want, and what they ACTUALLY want. Oh, and politics.

I LOVE the slogan. Can the team uniform be shiny pink titty tassles?

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

Maybe Mayor Pizza Hut can start on his campaign promise to call CEOs every week to convince them to move their headquarters to Dallas. Here's a hint: there are no tittie bars in Downtown Dallas.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

A titty bar in the DFW area?  I'm shocked. Shocked to you hear!?!

Bastion of truth
Bastion of truth

wtf, I cant even understand what you are trying to say.  were you drunk when you typred this

SCamp
SCamp

I guess the Catholics and Jews are not opposed. And the Greek Orthodox own half the clubs.

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