Home Adult entertainment Pending strip club sparks community concern

Pending strip club sparks community concern

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – As a new business seeks to make a name for itself in the Lexington Manor neighborhood, some residents are already saying they don’t want it there.

The area that encompasses the 900 block of Winchester Road is zoned by the city to allow after-hours adult entertainment and nightlife.

After Flying Rhino LLC, The Office of Kentucky (The Player’s Club) left their building following violence and a suspended license, Trifecta Gentleman’s Club signed a lease with the owners of the building to take over their place.

However, after a number of shootings and violence, some neighbors contacted local authorities to protest their permits citing security concerns associated with potential customers. It’s good that it’s a different company with new management.

“It’s almost like every weekend when the bar was open,” said Billy, who lives a block from the building. “We are tired of seeing him.”

The area has been called unsafe and unmanageable by neighbors who blame the customers these businesses serve.

“I think they need to rezone it,” said Vince, whose house was knocked down six years ago.

There have been five shootings in the 900 block of Winchester Road in 2019, three in 2020, five in 2021 and five so far in 2022 following this weekend’s shooting.

Traumatized by the unpredictable violence, neighbors told LEX 18 that they are moving and/or adding more cameras. Several people reported that bullets unexpectedly pierced their home.

There are several after-hours venues on Winchester Road, including a motorcycle club and a video store. However, most of the attention has been on the building owned by Bobbie and Sylvia Waller.

They purchased the building in the 1980s and retained ownership until May 2022. They received a notice of ownership for code violation a month earlier.

Player’s Club liquor licenses were revoked after a series of incidents involving the police.

Billy says he’s one of the neighbors who sent a letter to the state asking them not to license Trifecta. For him and others like him, it’s not about who is in space, but what.

“Over the last 6-7 years we’ve had quite a few shootouts and that’s always when this club is open,” Billy said.

We contacted the building’s new tenants who told us that safety and security was their top priority.

Owners Brian and Katie McWherter sent a statement:

“Safety and security is our top priority at Trifecta Gentleman’s Club. Whilst there will of course be security guards within the club itself, we will also have security outside to monitor potential crowds and parking areas. We are working diligently with the Office of the Chief of Police in Lexington to ensure the safety of our customers, staff and nearby businesses and residents. As the new owners of 987 Winchester Rd., our goal is to set a new precedent. There will be rules in place, including a strict no weapons or violence policy as well as strict dress code guidelines. Hours of operation will end at 3 a.m. We want the Trifecta Gentleman’s Club to be a welcoming and safe space for those looking for a place to relax and enjoy entertainment.”

An application for a certificate of occupancy with the city was filed on October 12 and is still being processed as it is stuck in the zoning review process. The building in question is across from the adult video store.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control tells us that they have not yet made a decision on whether to grant a license.

Council member Liz Sheehan has reached out to neighbors and businesses in this area that have had safety issues in the past to let people know there is a public feedback process where they can submit written comments on the request for Licence.

Sheehan’s office said in an email that she was “in regular communication with the Lexington Police Department and I appreciate their prompt responses and continued attention to safety along the Winchester Road corridor. The community deserves to feel safe at home and have a voice in what’s happening in their neighborhood.”

Community members met with police and council members in 2021, but felt that no solution had emerged from the discussions.

For people living nearby, at this time only time will tell what happens next.