COUNTY ATTORNEY STRIPS BIKINI OFF FM 1960 STRIP CENTER BABES In the suit filed yesterday against the operator of strip club Babes North at 10610 FM 1960 just east of Jones Rd., Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan accuses the club, formerly known as the Bikini Wing Bar, of flouting the laws governing sexually oriented businesses. “Babes is not a bikini bar. It is a topless and bottomless den of prostitution and drug dealing.” Notably, the lawsuit is also directed at the owners of the pad site in the Cypress Plaza Shopping Center, PJM Properties — for not taking reasonable measures to prevent criminal activity on its premises. [Cypress Creek Mirror] Photo: Click2Houston
What inside info does Swamplot have to spill about this 6,648-sq.-ft. mansion on more than an acre off Memorial Dr. in Bayou Woods?
Absolutely none. Really: We don’t know a thing about it.
Okay, okay — nothing other than . . . uh, publicly available information. And this little reader comment last week that tipped us all off. Yeah, you read it too!
“Vinny Ocean” is selling his Memorial mansion. It is now listed at [$]3.5M. How much would YOU offer knowing that some mouthbreathing NJ thug might not know Palermo sold it and no longer lives there? I’d knock 3M right off the top. You really oughta amble over to HAR and take a look at this place – over the TOP!
Who’s Vinny Ocean?
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GASLIGHT WON’T BE TURNED ON AGAIN The operator of Gaslight News & Video at 3519 Bellaire has achieved the distinction of being the first person to receive a criminal conviction as a result of Houston’s sexually oriented business ordinance, which was passed in 1997 but cleared court challenges only more recently. Eugene Etheridge has been prohibited from reopening the store. “The arcade, which consisted of individual pornographic video viewing booths, was closed last summer after the city obtained an injunction against his operation. Etheridge voluntarily closed his adult retail shop at the same location. Defense attorney Phllip Slaughter said Etheridge has been released on bond pending appeal. Etheridge, 60, continues to face civil and criminal cases stemming from his operation of a second sexually oriented business, the Big City News & Video at 10105 Gulf Freeway.” [Houston Chronicle, via Hair Balls]
FORMER MOB BOSS TO PENTHOUSE CLUB: KEEP YOUR PANTS ON The Penthouse Club just off Westheimer at 2618 Winrock — shut down by the city a year ago for violating the city’s sexually oriented business ordinance — is reopening this Thursday! But . . . there’ll be no nudity this time, promises the club’s global licensing director. Who owns the club? According to KPRC Local 2 Investigates reporter Robert Arnold, that would be admitted murderer turned government witness Vincent Palermo, the former acting boss of New Jersey’s DeCavalcante crime family: “In addition to the mansion on Memorial Drive, Local 2 found Palermo, now using the last name Cabella, also owns the property that is the Penthouse Club on Winrock Boulevard near Westheimer Road. Harris County records show he also owns the Mexican food restaurant [Ruchi’s Grill] in front of the Penthouse and the [Super Clean] car wash behind the club. State records show a company called “Hereweareagain, inc.” owns and operates the Penthouse Club, and another company called “6430 Westheimer, inc” owns and operates All Stars Cabaret across the street from Penthouse. Palermo’s wife and son are listed on corporate filings for these companies.” [Click2Houston; previously on Swamplot]
THE GREAT HOUSTON STRIP CLUB CRACKDOWN The arrests last week of 6 dancers, the DJ, the manager, and the “house mother” at the All-Star Men’s Club on the corner of Winrock and Westheimer — along with legal action against the club for operating a sexually oriented business without a license — are the latest rounds: “‘This is part of a bigger effort by the White administration to use the powers that are available to the city to protect and improve the quality of life in the city’s neighborhoods,’ said private attorney Patrick Zummo, who was hired by the city to help enforce its sexually oriented business ordinance. ‘We are working on another lawsuit that would include many of those businesses that are operating illegally, and which will probably be filed in the next couple of weeks.’ . . . Frank Michel, a spokesman for Mayor Bill White, confirmed Friday’s legal action is the beginning of an offensive against sex clubs that operate in areas where they would not qualify for a city license.” [Houston Chronicle, via Boyd’s Blog]; previously in Swamplot]
PENTHOUSE STRIPPED The Penthouse Club at 2618 Winrock has been closed by court order — the first such action stemming from Houston’s 11-year-old sexually oriented business ordinance: “State District Judge Mark Davidson issued a temporary injunction Tuesday afternoon and ordered the club to shut down immediately. A trial in which the city will argue for permanent closure is set for Oct. 27. Davidson’s order is a major victory for the city, which has spent more than $1.2 million defending the ordinance against challenges by adult-oriented businesses, said attorney Patrick Zummo, hired by the city to help it enforce the law. ‘It means that this ordinance that we fought so hard to pass and prove constitutional, that it will actually work,’ Zummo said. ‘We’re not through. We’re looking at other locations around The Penthouse.'” [Houston Chronicle]