Nude club shakes up Cary's staid image
Posted October 31, 2013
Cary, N.C. — Known for its beige homes and strict signage rules, Cary is taking it all off, allowing what some say is the only fully nude strip club in the Triangle.
Pure Gold has operated an adult entertainment club in Cary for 20 years, but management said they needed to change the business model to stay competitive in a lax economy. So, the owners surrendered their liquor license this week, which allows them to get out from under state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission rules.
Now, instead of performing topless, dancers at the North Harrison Avenue club can be fully nude. Also, the club is allowed to stay open until 4 a.m. instead of closing at 2 a.m., and customers can bring their own beer or wine – liquor with an alcohol content above 15 percent is prohibited.
"If you give them a reason to come and see something they can't get anywhere else, you're going to get people from all walks of life," said Phil O'Donoghue, owner of the Kuttin Edge barber shop across the street. "If nothing else, sex sells."
Teddy Tivnan, Pure Gold's regional manager, said the nude dancers remain on stage, and there's no contact with customers.
Club owners hope the changes cut operating expenses by 30 percent, Tivnan said, with the majority of profits now coming from the cost of admission instead of alcohol sales. Admission prices are higher for customers who bring their own drinks.
Raleigh attorney Chad Essick, who represents Pure Gold, said the owners notified Cary two years ago about their planned changes, and the club continues to comply with applicable state laws and local ordinances.
A Cary spokeswoman confirmed that Pure Gold is complying with local regulations.
Some local residents, however, wish the club would return to its more modest format.
"I don't think it's a good thing at all," Joette Winberry said.
O'Donoghue, isn't as critical of the switch.
"I'm just surprised they're allowing that to happen in Cary, more than anything else," he said.