Forest Park clubs appeal license revocations

Two Forest Park bars have appealed the revocation of their licenses to operate and serve alcohol, according to filings in Clayton County Superior Court.

Attorneys for the corporations that own Pink Pony South and Crazy Horse Saloon filed the appeal Friday. The appeal, which accuses the city of selective prosecution, asks that the license revocations be overturned and set aside.

Forest Park City Attorney Robert Mack said Monday night that he will file an answer to the appeal, possibly as soon as today.

"We'll respond accordingly," said Mack.

All licenses issued by Forest Park expire Dec. 31. Mack said the clubs have picked up applications to renew their licenses, but they have not been turned in. The clubs can continue to operate during the appeals process, he said.

Both establishments opened for business years ago as strip clubs, but opted, in January, to become bars that serve food and prohibit nudity.

But compliance hearing officer Mike Martin ordered the business and alcohol licenses for the two clubs revoked Dec. 5, following two days of testimony in November.

The bulk of the evidence used against the clubs was their own surveillance cameras, which appeared to show flagrant and blatant violations of the city's code.

Dancers were depicted in lewd and sexually-explicit situations with customers, showing breasts and genitalia, and encouraging customers to pay for the privilege of going into a VIP room "where they could do more," according to testimony.

The city council voted Dec. 5 to make the wording of the city ordinance dealing with the denial of licenses more specific, which could make renewal a moot issue.

The ordinance allows the council to reject an application, if a previous license has been revoked. "They will have to apply for new licenses for 2012," said City Attorney Joe Harris. "And having a license revoked is grounds for denying a new license."