Brookhaven City Council voted Jan. 15 to approve a new ordinance that will prohibit the sale of alcohol in strip clubs and other adult businesses.
The ordinance, which is similar to the one currently in place in DeKalb County, will also prohibit any contact between dancers and customers, among other regulations.
The Buford Highway strip club Pink Pony is the only business in the new city of Brookhaven that will be affected by the new ordinance.
Currently, Pink Pony is able to sell alcohol because of a 2001 settlement agreement with DeKalb. The club pays the county a $100,000 annual licensing fee to sell alcohol on site.
Brookhaven City Council members took up the matter after attorneys advised them that DeKalb’s existing ordinance was poorly written and unconstitutional.
“Our ordinance does the same thing DeKalb County’s does, it’s just written in a more thoughtful way,” said Mayor J. Max Davis. “We’re not trying to run anybody out of business. We hope everybody stays in business, including the ones that may be affected by this ordinance.”
Aubrey Villines, an attorney for the Pink Pony, has argued that the city is bound to honor the settlement agreement that allows the club to sell alcohol. Pink Pony stakeholders say if they are not able to sell alcohol, they will not be able to compete with clubs and surrounding areas and will be forced to close down.
“We are convinced the ordinance is unconstitutional, unenforceable and indefensible in a court of law and public opinion,” Villines said.
Though Pink Pony attorneys have threatened legal action, Villines said the club is not yet ready to file suit against the city.
“We’re not going to file a law suit tomorrow,” Villines said. “We think City Council will continue to work with us and at some point do the right thing.”