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Downtown has taken a giant step closer to shedding its notorious reputation as a honky-tonk for off-duty Marines and sailors. No more will there be a Playgirl Club, which for four decades allowed even underage military personnel from nearby Camp Pendleton to drink soda pop and go bug-eyed looking at buck-naked women. Tears, on the other hand, came from two young dancers--stage names Nadia and Jessie--who watched as Mayor Terry Johnson and City Council members Jack Feller, Betty Harding and Carol McCauley took turns being hoisted aloft by a cherry picker to paint over the Playgirl .
No touching, no nasty stuff. Not like those businessmen at the club where I worked in Sacramento. Already the city has had feelers from people interested in opening a restaurant, retail outlet or comedy club once the site is renovated.
This is not the same city it was. Gone are the tattoo and massage parlors, sawdust-floor bars and locker clubs that once dotted the blocks around the Greyhound bus station. Outside the bus station in a hot night, marijuana dealers and pimps open for business were strutting up and down the broken white line in the center of the street. s of change are everywhere on the palm tree-lined streets.
Computer stores, pizza parlors, T-shirt shops and curio stores are sprouting. A surf museum and an art school are popular. The Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton has done its part to erase the Hollywood image of brawling Marines and drunken sailors. More recreational opportunities are provided on-base and active-duty personnel are warned that off-duty misbehavior can mean an end to their careers. To city officials, the Playgirl Club was a particularly obnoxious obstacle on the march to redevelopment, not because of what went on inside--police concede that Arthur actively discouraged drugs and prostitution--but because of its prime location.
The club, on Pier View Way, is two blocks from City Hall and smack in the middle of what the city hopes will be a popular promenade from downtown to the beach and pier. There already is a bookstore on the street, right next to the former Playgirl Club, but it is not the type that McVey and other officials have in mind: Midnight Adult Book, featuring X-rated fare. The departure of the Playgirl Club leaves but one strip t in Oceanside.
But the Main Attraction, which, unlike Playgirl, sells alcohol, is several blocks from the heart of downtown and less visible. City officials have asked the owner about a possible purchase but have been rebuffed. The mirrored ball was still above the dance floor when the politician-painters arrived Friday morning. Later, Mayor Johnson took the ball to his automobile for possible display at City Hall. All Sections. About Us. B2B Publishing.
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