Spearmint Rhino will open its doors in Glasgow in March, three years after the chain bought over an existing lap dancing club in the city, the Truffle Club.
It follows earlier unsuccessful moves by the US chain to open in Glasgow after opposition from the femNazi Glasgow City Council.
The venue has continued to operate as the Truffle Club for the past two years, but is in the final stages of a rebrand and refurbishment.
Perennial nutter Sandra White MSP has slammed the move and said: I'm very disappointed that Spearmint Rhino has been allowed to open in Glasgow. This is detrimental to women and we don't need this sort of entertainment.
In 2002 Glasgow City council told the chain to stay out of Glasgow after it revealed plans for two clubs in the city. However the firm did not have to apply for a new licence for the new club because it was simply transferring the existing
A spokesman for Spearmint Rhino said: We are a well known brand and we have built up a good track record of working with local authorities and complying with restrictions and requirements. We are still in the process of rebranding the club but
hope to be open by mid March.
A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: This is not a new club, but one already operating and the current licence covers this kind of entertainment.
One usually gets a sound bite from the nutter deputy leader Jim Coleman for such stories. But maybe he is keeping a low profile at the moment.
Thanks to Gary:
Any Glaswegian Melon Farmers here might know Councillor Jim Coleman as one of the leading figures in Glasgow City Council's opposition to lapdancing, sex shops and tolerance zones, a man clearly intent on imposing his own standards of sexual
morality on others. So it's interesting to read that his morals and ethics are potentially somewhat lacking when it comes to business interests. Isn't that always the way...
Two lap dancing venues are amongst the first in Scotland to fall foul of the country's new licensing laws.
Spearmint Rhino, rival Seventh Heaven, and The Glaswegian Bar, all in Glasgow, have been denied licences under the new act which comes in on September 1.
The decisions mean they will have to shut up shop on that date unless they appeal to the courts. They have been told the refusal follows evidence collected by licensing standards officers (LSOs), which were newly created under the act to form
part of the local authority's general enforcement team. It aims to bring breaches of the law and policies to the attention of the licensing boards.
Glasgow Licensing Board heard how early last month CCTV footage showed two dancers at Spearmint Rhino stripped naked, breaching local policies. The board heard that officers whilst conducting an inspection relative to the code of conduct,
viewed premises' CCTV and witnessed two dancers removing their lower garments to knee level thereby exposing their genitalia. In a separate incident, officers also witnessed several dancers making considerable contact with patrons whilst
Spearmint Rhino, was also reported for breaching low cost alcohol policies and allegations an employee exposed her breasts while handing out flyers in Glasgow city centre.
LSO evidence also resulted in the refusal of a licence under the 2005 Act to Seventh Heaven after LSO evidence that eight dancers had removed lower garments, the board making its decision on the basis that refusal prevents crime and disorder and
protects and improves public health.
Both lap dancing venues had explained that the staff involved in the incidents were previously Edinburgh based, where full nudity is permitted, and had been reprimanded while the board said it fully expected appeals to the sheriff.
Evidence that led to the decision on Friday to refuse the Glaswegian in Bridge Street a licence included allegations of sectarian behaviour, intimidation of LSOs and local residents, and ineffectual management. The court heard that on one
occasion the arrival of the LSOs was announced by the DJ over the speaker system as The Noise Police and was followed by customers shouting obscenities about the Pope to the tune of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline while the officers waited
to speak to management.
All three are expected to appeal which, if ongoing by September, allows them to continue trading until there is an outcome.
Update: Glasgow licensing board imposes a moral code on lap dancing
The head of Glashow's largest licensing authority has declared war on lap dancing clubs despite allowing one venue to remain open. Stephen Dornan, chairman of Glasgow Licensing Board, said he was issuing a last chance to adult
entertainment venues after granting a licence to the club Forbidden and delaying a decision on another until August.
But industry sources have accused Councillor Dornan of running a show trial and attempting to use the board to impose a moral code in line with that supported by Glasgow City Council.
Observers had expected that after the last board meeting all lap dancing venues in Glasgow would have had their licences revoked. At the meeting, the board heard further LSO evidence in relation to Forbidden, formerly Legs'N'Co, including one
incident in March when inspectors witnessed a dancer removing her lower garments to above knee level and that considerable contact was also made between the dancer and patron.
After being told the dancer had been immediately sacked after the matter was brought to the attention of the management, Councillor Dornan said: This issue of dancers doing what they're not supposed to do keeps reoccuring.
It doesn't happen here (full nudity). This isn't London and Glasgow isn't turning into Soho. We have conditions and if you're not complying with them then go to London, Edinburgh or Birmingham. It's not acceptable to say that the dancers
have come from other areas where this is permitted and don't know our rules. This behaviour won't be tolerated in Glasgow and members here support that.
Diamond Dolls will find out in August whether its conversion' to the new regime will go ahead after the board raised last minute objections about changes to the lay-out which it said now included a private dance area.
But afterwards one leading industry source said the board were making little effort to conceal their efforts to rid Glasgow of adult entertainment venues. He said: It's all just about running a show trial. Councillor Dornan has made clear his
distaste for these venues but its not about his taste or the morals of the council. It's about the law.
Mandating CCTV in taxis and then banning council employees from using cabs with lap dancing adverts
Based on article from choicequote.co.uk
Glasgow Council is taking action against cabbies in the local area who feature advertising for lap-dancing clubs in their vehicles.
A ban has been issued by the authority which prevents any of its workers from using a taxi which displays advertising for the establishments, reports the Sunday Mail.
The council explained that it has decided to initiate the move as part of its ongoing actions against Glasgow's lap-dancing industry, which it described as a form of commercial sexual exploitation.
Council deputy leader Jim Coleman, who announced the ban via letters written to each department, has stated that taxis in the area which promote the clubs will therefore no longer benefit from the authority's custom.
This comes after the body last month announced new plans to install CCTV cameras inside cabs operating in the city in a move to monitor taxi users.
Mean minded licensing chiefs in Glasgow have secured a legal victory over a lap-dancing chain in a ruling that could have ramifications for the entertainment and leisure industry throughout Scotland.
In what was viewed as the first real test in the courts of Scotland's new liquor laws, Glasgow Sheriff Court threw out an attempt by Spearmint Rhino to overturn a decision from last year against it getting a licence.
The decision, which was made by Sheriff Craig Scott, will send shockwaves through the licensed trade and local authorities. It effectively gives licensing boards carte blanche to determine how venues are run, and gives them more power than they
have had in more than 35 years.
Spearmint Rhino, based on Glasgow's Drury Street and now called Platinum Lace, is expected to appeal to the Court of Session but will keep on trading for the moment as allowed in the previous licensing laws.
Glasgow Licensing Board heard how CCTV footage showed two dancers at Spearmint Rhino stripped naked, breaching repressive local policies.
Fun prevention officers also witnessed several dancers making considerable contact with patrons while performing. In addition, an employee was alleged to have exposed her breasts while handing out flyers in Glasgow city centre.
The application was refused as it was supposedly inconsistent with the licensing objectives of preventing crime and disorder, and protecting and improving public health. The premises were considered unsuitable for the use of alcohol , the
Brightcrew, the licence holder for the club's owners, argued in court that the board had introduced a non-statutory basis for the decision, insisting it should be concerned only with issues directly related to the sale of alcohol.
But Sheriff Scott, who ruled against Glasgow's refusal of a lap-dancing application at a court hearing several years ago, ruled that under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 boards are required to set out policies and objectives which are very
broad in nature .
He said that Glasgow was entitled to refuse a licence if it felt an application was inconsistent with those objectives. However, he disagreed that the club was unsuitable for the use of alcohol.
A sheriff has slammed a decision not to grant a lap dancing bar a licence after a minor complaint about a promotional flyer.
The owners of Seventh Heaven had their application turned down by the City of Glasgow Licensing Board last June.
The board raised a number of objections, including a flyer which showed a dancer wearing a pair of yellow pants and with an arm covering her breasts. It was claimed this depicted the woman as unsuitably clothed .
Kell Scotland Limited, who have ran the club in Elmbank Gardens since it opened in 2003 - went to Glasgow Sheriff Court in a bid to reverse the decision.
Sheriff Principal James Taylor found in the firm's favour and branded the original judgment absurd . He pointed out that many evening dresses worn by women would expose more breast than could be seen on the flyer. To judge
that the flyer in question is unsuitable for the purpose of promoting a lap dancing nightclub and thus in breach of the policy code, is, in my opinion, wholly unreasonable.
In short the licensing board's judgement is absurd. No reasonable licensing board properly applying their mind to the flyer could come to the view that the female depicted was unsuitably clothed. Only a very small part of the side of her
breast is depicted in the photograph. There is certainly more breast exposed in certain daily tabloid newspapers.
A lap dancing chain is to challenge the power of Scotland's local authorities to impose their morality on licensed venues after a decision taken in Glasgow to shut a bar.
Brightcrew, which traded under the Spearmint Rhino banner in the city, is seeking to overturn a sheriff's decision last year to revoke its licence after several dancers stripped naked.
A three-day hearing is now scheduled for the Court of Session and is expected to cost Brightcrew and Glasgow City Council a combined sum of around £ 70,000.
It comes as Spearmint Rhino announces plans for a venue in Glasgow, although the location and expected timescales are still undisclosed. The US-based chain said that the Glasgow branch which lost its licence in 2009, was an affiliate club with
which it is no longer connected.
Industry sources said the real Rhino would be watching developments in the Court of Session intently and that if the decision went against Brightcrew the Rhino can forget all about Glasgow .
The Glasgow club challenging the sheriff court decision is based on Drury Street in the city centre and now called Platinum Lace. It was denied a licence in May 2009 after Glasgow Licensing Board heard how CCTV footage showed two dancers at
Spearmint Rhino stripped naked, breaching local rules. The board was told: Officers, while conducting an inspection relative to the code of conduct, viewed premises' CCTV and witnessed two dancers removing their lower garments to knee level,
thereby exposing their genitalia. Officers also witnessed several dancers making considerable contact with patrons while performing.
A lap-dancing bar where the nudity was too much for Glasgow's moralist councilors has won an appeal against the removal of its drinks licence.
The Glasgow venue previously lost the licence after inspectors reported a series of breaches of the city's code of practice on dance entertainment , including performers removing bikini bottoms and having physical contact with customers.
However, judges in the Court of Session in Edinburgh have said the breaches had nothing to do with the sale of alcohol and could not be used as a reason to refuse a licence.
The Truffle Club in Drury Street was part of the Spearmint Rhino group at the time of the inspection and is currently operated as Platinum Lace. Simon Warr, chief executive officer, said: I am naturally very pleased, the decision to refuse the
application was totally disproportionate.
A spokesman for Glasgow licensing board said: We will be considering the terms of the decision.
Lord Eassie, sitting with Lords Clarke and Wheatley, said five minor breaches had been listed:
The code required a risk assessment for the personal safety of dancers and while this had been done, a member of staff during a visit by a licensing standards officer had not known where the document was kept;
Flyers, in the form of small cards, had shown the upper torsos of two women, yet any advertising was not to feature exposed breasts or genitalia;
Drinks promotions had been e-mailed to registered patrons, but immediately withdrawn after an officer had pointed out that they conflicted with the board's policy on happy hours and cheap alcohol;
An officer had seen two dancers remove their bikini bottoms to knee level. The women were from Edinburgh, where they were accustomed to different practice ;
Several dancers made considerable contact with patrons whilst performing , but the only contact allowed was the hand-to-hand payment of money at the end of a performance.
The brainchild of one Sandra White MSP, over the last 15 years has been to launch public consultation after public consultation in attempts to close down Glasgow's adult entertainment venues.
The latest is an ongoing consultation which ends in August seeking to license the clubs in a way which could see them closed down for good.
When I was on national TV a few days ago debating the issue with Sandra, she said she hadn't engaged with dancers many years ago when they petitioned for her to meet with them because she didn't believe it came from the girls themselves.
What she fails to acknowledge time and time again is that dancers in Glasgow's adult entertainment venues are happy, safe and want to keep their jobs! Workers within the clubs are also becoming unionised with GMB union.
There are around 700 dancers working across Scotland and it's time she asked them! I want to live in a Scotland which is progressive and recognises the right of a woman to have autonomy over her own body.
Please sign the petition and spread the word! We want as much tangible info as possible to feed into our wider campaign to keep the clubs open.