North Seattle Strip Club Quietly Reopens, Dancer Immediately Busted By Police

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee July 14, 2010

A North Seattle "burlesque" club has quietly reopened its doors after a 5-year hiatus, to fill the void left by the collapse of the Colacurcio strip club empire. Naturally, it has already attracted the attention of the Seattle Police Department.

Photo courtesy of Ben Katt

City officials say the Dancing Bear, on 105th and Aurora, reopened sometime in May—staff at the Department of Executive Administration did not have an exact date—after shutting down for about five years.

The building on 105th and Aurora has been licensed as an adult club since at least 1987, and was in operation until 2005, when they allowed their license to lapse. Although the club's small stage went dark, the adjacent adult book and video store—which are connected—remained open.

Last year, the business—which operates under the name Carnieville—filed to re-up their license.

When staff from the Department of Executive Administration went to inspect the business in March, it was still in a state of disarray. "It wasn’t even swept up," says inspector Michelle Crooks.

The club managed to get cleaned up and got their license back, and reopened in early May.

Shortly thereafter, Undercover Vice detectives dropped by and, according to police sources, found a sad scene.

Police tell that only one dancer was working in the very small club—which one police source described as "a hole"—on several visits.

That dancer just happened to give an undercover detective a "dirty" dance and the city is now working to suspend her dancing license for 30 days.

The city says they know who the woman is, but have not been able to contact her to formally revoke her license.

It's not clear what exactly the woman did during the dance, but police say she violated the city's regulations on lapdances. Police have not found evidence of any prostitution at the club.

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