A gentleman’s club, The Gold Club, has recently opened in downtown San Jose, surprising some people because an announcement wasn’t made until last month. As nudity isn’t allowed, all the female employees will be wearing bikinis. Not surprisingly, the councilman who represents the district that the club sits in and other civic leaders are complaining about the inappropriateness that a bikini bar represents for a vibrant downtown. After visiting the Voodoo Lounge in Las Vegas for a Star Trek convention party, I doubt this club will matter much.
The biggest complaint about the downtown clubbing scene is that it doesn’t exist. If you want to go clubbing, you need to go to San Francisco or Los Angeles. Most clubs come and go so fast in San Jose that none ever found a steady clientele. If the police gets called in to break up a fight or two (the bouncers are almost always moonlighting cops), the club closes down faster than they can open. After a name change and/or a change of ownership, the club re-opens a month later and the cycle repeats itself.
As for the female staff members in bikinis, I suspect most of them will be skinny little things. While visiting Las Vegas, I noticed that the skinny little things wore bikinis on the strip or danced in skimpy outfits on the mini stages in the casinos, and women with hips were more clothing to sell cigarette or run the keno sheets. Skinniness versus hippieness is the dividing line for these types of establishments.
One time my friend and I went to Hooters in Campbell for dinner. All the waitresses were the skinny little things that I paid no attention, probably because they are 20+ years my junior and I prefer women with actual hips. Our waitress in the skimpy Hooters outfit for that evening looked like she was 16-years-old and wore braces, a combination that screamed jailbait like nothing else. We gave her a big tip for trying so hard at being sociable with us as we were disconcerted by her appearance.
Does San Jose need a red light district to stay competitive with the other big cities?
No, it doesn’t. I remembered downtown San Jose back in the 1980’s, where the prostitutes openly plied their trade and trash covered the streets. When the brand new convention center opened in 1989, my father and I caught the bus to downtown to attend the free car show. Downtown became a redevelopment zone that sent the prostitutes packing and construction dust covered the streets. After years of constructing new buildings and renovating old buildings, people are returning to downtown to live and work there.
But I doubt that a bikini bar will bring a wave of prostitution and crime to downtown as the critics claim. After the police clean up a fight or two inside, the club will have a different name and theme in a few months. Maybe the Chippendales will come to downtown.