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Durham Turf War Pits City Against Strip Club

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Teaser's Palace is the new name of Durham's old Power Company nightclub.(WRAL-TV5 News)
DURHAM — A Durham nightclub has a new name, but city officials fear the same old problems will return.

Teaser's Palace opened three weeks ago in downtown Durham. It looks like an historic building on the outside, but female strippers are baring it all inside.

The catch: In 1994, the city banned adult entertainment downtown. They say the action in Teaser's Palace is illegal.

"Adult entertainment oftentimes has spillover effects, from crowds, noise, people attracted to it," says Richard Hails with the city's planning division. "It might negatively impact certain aspects of downtown revitalization that the city has been promoting."

Hails says that when the city checked on the activity inside, they found topless female dancers.

Teaser's says it is exempt from the law, because dancers stripped at the same location before the ordinance took effect. Most recently, Teaser's was known as thePower Company, a nightclub with a reputation as a public nuisance, where two men were gunned down in 1998.

Downtown advocates want the management at Teaser's to clean up its act.

"We wish [the owner] would develop his building -- and it's a beautiful, historic building right on our main street -- in a manner that's more consistent with our downtown master plan," saysDowntown Durham'sWilliam Kalkhof.

The case will be decided in Durham Superior Court in January. Until then, Teaser's says it has no plans to stop the stripping.


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