Clubs’ alcohol license tabled indefinitely

A months-long battle to get alcohol licenses approved for two closed former strip clubs fizzled out Monday night, when an attorney representing the owner asked the Forest Park City Council to set aside the request until ongoing litigation is resolved.

Pink Pony South and Crazy Horse Saloon opened years ago in Forest Park as Clayton County’s only strip clubs. However, over the past several years, the council amended local ordinances that affected how the businesses operated and the clubs evolved into bikini bars that serve alcohol but didn’t allow nudity.

When a compliance hearing officer determined last year that the clubs violated the city’s ordinances by allowing nudity and sex acts in exchange for money, the club’s business and alcohol licenses were revoked. Without licenses to operate, the clubs were closed Jan. 16.

The clubs are appealing the denial of the business licenses in Clayton County Superior Court.

Despite not having a business license, club owner Jack Galardi applied for alcohol licenses for both establishments. Council tabled the request several times this year before taking action Monday night. The action, which essentially involved not taking a vote, was requested by one of Galardi’s attorneys, Simon Bloom.

“We’d ask that you consider staying this action on the alcohol license until there is a complete resolution of the business license,” he said. “If the judge finds that the license was improperly un-renewed, this issue goes away.”

City Attorneys Joe Harris and Robert Mack met in a closed session with Mayor Corine Deyton and the council to discuss the issue before the item was addressed from the agenda. Once the open session resumed, Deyton called for a motion on the license request.

“Hearing none, the request dies for lack of a motion,” said Deyton.

After the regular meeting, Mack said he was surprised that Bloom made the request but that it seems to be the right solution for the time being. City ordinances do not allow the issuance of an alcohol license for a business that does not have an operating license.

Mack said there is no court date set on the clubs’ appeal.

During his address to Council Monday night, Bloom told the elected officials that the litigation will not end.

“You’re setting yourselves up for another litigation,” he said. “I know Mayor and Council have nothing but the best for the city at heart.” Bloom called the situation a “blood feud” for which there is “no end in sight.”