One of the owners of St. John's nightclub, which is at the centre of a controversy surrounding photos of topless women allegedly taken inside the bar, has a history with the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation.

Luc Viau, one of Allure's co-owners, is a recognizable name and face on George Street.

Viau has owned and operated various bars and clubs in the area since the 1990s.

CBC reported on the opening festivities at Allure, Viau's latest co-venture, after photos of drunk young women, some of them topless, were taken by American nightlife photographer Kirill and posted online.

Some of the women in the photos were underage, which CBC confirmed with their family members. There have been no complaints of the teens being photographed.

The NLC has since suspended the club's liquor license, pending an investigation.

Luc Viau

Luc Viau, one of the co-owners of Allure, owns and operates a number of clubs and bars in St. John's and Conception Bay South. This isn't the first time that one of his establishments is accused of hosting what some consider raunchy events. (CBC)

The owners have taken to the club's Facebook page to express their displeasure at the fallout since the club's opening on March 8, accusing local media of sensationalism.

In the post, owners state that the bar has tight security measures, and was adamant the photos weren't taken inside the club.

This is not the first time one of Viau's clubs has been criticized for hosting what some consider raunchy events.

In 2003, a wet t-shirt contest was held at Viau's former club Junctions, with the winner receiving free breast implants.

At the time, Viau was unapologetic, saying it was each person's choice whether or not to take part in the contest.

"It's all about freedom. You make a choice and you come here or you don't," he said about that contest.

Critics said Viau was exploiting women, but he said that wasn't the case.

"I couldn't ask for better advertising to start off my summer promotion on Wednesdays."

The NLC confirmed that some of Viau's clubs have been sanctioned in the past, but wouldn't specify the reason for the suspensions or which specific clubs were involved.

Viau owns and operates Party N.L., a group of establishments in St. John's and Conception Bay South, including the Rose and Thistle, strip club Sirens, and Velvet Club and Lounge, among others.

Viau did not respond to CBC's request for an interview at time of publication.