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Downtown 'Gets Another Strip Club'

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010, at 05:20PM
IMGP2838 Ed Fuentes

The Platinum Gentlemen’s Lounge at 710 E. Commercial St.

It’s back. The space on Commercial street that was once Little Tokyo Showgirls proudly declares it will open this week as The Platinum Gentlemen’s Lounge.

“Downtown Los Angeles gets another strip club on Thursday,” says the release. The setup follows the same general plan as the previous incarnation, offering an all-nude, nonalcoholic club, "luxurious" skyboxes, VIP lounge, and indoor-garage valet service. It also touts “cappuccino and espresso drinks, as well as light deli fare” and its proximity to Union Station.

First built as a 21-and-over club, the concept was presented to the surrounding communities as a “classy” joint venture with Penthouse. The opening was blocked due to protests from nearby Little Tokyo and LAPD, preventing the project to secure a liquor license. When Penthouse left, the club changed its name to Little Tokyo Showgirls, a move that was less branding and perhaps more about spiting those who had protested.

“In some ways, this is worse,” said Sergeant Kris Werner of LAPD's Central Division. “You could have 18 to 20 year olds drinking outside the club at their cars.”

While Little Tokyo stakeholders led the opposition to the club, reaction in the Arts District is a little more nuanced. "I paint nudes," said one local artist. "It would be silly of me to protest a strip club."

The reopened club has different ownership than those past efforts.

Tonight’s soft opening will have an 8 to 10pm reception that includes a menu tasting, says a polite and hesitant voice answering the phone. The grand opening is tomorrow.

Platinum Gentlemen’s Lounge will be open until 4am on Thursday through Saturday, and until 2am on other nights.

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