Strip club stirs up controversy in C.B.S.

A new strip club just opened in Foxtrap, and not everyone is happy about it.
When town council approved a new bar in CBS, it wasn't expecting it to be a strip club, reports CBC's Amy Stoodley. 2:08

A new strip club in Conception Bay South is getting a lot of attention.

C.B.S. Coun. Ken McDonald is concerned about the strip club's impact on the residential neighbourhood that surrounds it. (CBC)

Sirens Cabaret, a popular St. John's gentlemen's club, just opened a new location.

Although the bar was crowded with customers this week, it's caused a lot of controversy in the community.

When the town of C.B.S. talked about getting with the times and expanding business opportunities, this isn't exactly what they had in mind, according to Coun. Ken McDonald.

"Council didn't vote for a strip bar to come to C.B.S.," said McDonald.

"We allowed an application for a bar to reopen in a building that already had an existing bar in it, and that's as far as our decision making went."

There have been rumours of a strip club in C.B.S. for a while, but McDonald says he didn't know what was happening until the sign went up this week.

Now council's hands are tied.

"A bar is a bar. Whatever activity takes place inside is controlled more from the liquor licensing board, and I don't think they have strict rules about what takes place once inside the doors of the bar," said McDonald.

He's worried about what an establishment like this will do to the town, particularly since the bar is located right in the middle of a residential neighbourhood.

"It's surrounded by families with kids," said McDonald, pointing out that there's traffic to and from the club late into the night.

"Everybody, to some extent, associates a strip bar with illegal activity, and they're not too pleased to have that in their backyard," he added.

But bar manager John Blackmore says it's not like that at all.

"We're trying to bring something new and fresh to the C.B.S. area," said Blackmore.

He says this is just the beginning. A dance club, full restaurant and an Irish bar are in the works for this location.

"We're not trying to bring an entire adult cabaret to this area," he said.

"It's one facet of something that's going to be bringing well over 120 jobs to the C.B.S. area."

Blackmore said C.B.S. is a growing town, and opening a business like this is just a sign of the times.