The Forgotten Opa-Locka Strip Club
The small city of Opa-Locka, Florida has struggled in recent years to attract new business. Dealing with doses of corruption in the city government, corruption in the police force, and multiple financial emergencies has left the city reeling. But in one of life’s little ironies, hints of economic salvation arrived in the form of the newest, and only, Opa-Locka strip club opening in January 2018.
Klub 24 is, according to its owners, a $1.5 million-dollar investment into Opa-Locka. And since the grand opening, the club has lived up to its name. Klub 24 is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing adult entertainment the likes of which the city has never seen.
Mostly because a strip club is not allowed according to the city’s own zoning laws. At least, not allowed without permission from city commission or its planning council. Of which there are members utterly dumbstruck that this club even exists.
How the hell did the city government “forget” about the only Opa-Locka strip club?
Let us first remember that Opa-Locka is under an extensive FBI inquiry regarding corruption. Realistically, the strip club itself is probably more legitimate than the city councilmen who let this particular grain of sand slip through their fingers.
Not that this makes the situation less stupid than it is.
For now, a blame game about proper protocol and who said what, when, where, and why, has begun in earnest. The city’s building director, Daniel Abia, claims he’s being used as a scapegoat, and says that he was hardly the only person to have been involved with Klub 24.
But as is the case with rats abandoning a ship, nobody else seems willing to step forward. The city’s attorney said, a mere week after the Klub 24’s grand opening, that the club shouldn’t have been allowed. The city’s commissioner says that the city cannot allow public nudity 24 hours a day, and even has blamed law enforcement for their failure to shut the place down. The city manager claims his hands are tied, and that he doesn’t have the power to close the business.
He did warn that there would be consequences to shutting the club down now. It’s probably the most correct thing anyone outside of the club itself has said about the situation.
And of course, the cops have yet to actually do anything to Klub 24, at least as of this writing. Maybe they’re too busy visiting the place themselves?
Klub 24’s days are technically numbered.
The Opa-Locka strip club is currently operating under a temporary occupancy license that lasts for 90 days. These need to be approved by more than just one individual. According to the terms of the license, if Klub 24 fails to meet a set of legal standards, it can be shut down. The deadline is April 20.
Daniel Abia has said that if the business fails to meet specific qualifications, he would refuse the club a permanent license to operate. It’s a threat that doesn’t seem to faze the club’s owner. He says he has a legal license to operate, and operate he has since January.
But that license allegedly was drawn up for a restaurant, not a pricey jiggle joint. Which means that inspections for the club were not held to the correct standards. By itself, that’s suspicious. But now that pretty much everyone is claiming that somebody else is responsible for this, and it gets crazy.
If the club does get shut down, legally that is probably a justifiable action. But given the level of investment into the property, it could come at a hefty cost. You’d have a business owner who would feel as though he’d been lied to by officials (or at least able to convince people that he was lied to). He’d probably have a good lawsuit on his hands.
It’d probably be cheaper to leave the club open at this point. Given the city’s own history of corruption at the top, maybe change could start by leaving the first Opa-Locka strip club open to the public. At the very least, the dirty deeds at the top could have a naughty little establishment to start in.