WALKER -- Cass County could have its first topless entertainment business -- or at least bikini-clad -- in 2000.
Harold Brown seeks to open the former restaurant at the Y junction of Highways 371 and 200 south of Walker this year with female dancers.
"I don't want a dive place," he told the county board Tuesday. "I want a class place."
Brown said he has brought bouncers from California and plans to cover all windows. In a letter to Environmental Services Director Paul Fairbanks, Brown said there will be no contact between dancers and clientele except for exchange of money.
In response to that letter, Fairbanks said current county ordinances would allow Brown to open the business as a restaurant, eligible to obtain a liquor license, with entertainers who are "not topless, bottomless, covers breasts, covers buttocks, and covers genitals. ..."
Topless would require a conditional use permit, because it would constitute adult entertainment, Fairbanks said.
He told the county board Cass is woefully lacking in ordinances to adequately regulate adult entertainment. Currently, the county does not issue licenses for liquor sales unless to a restaurant.
He presented copies of Crow Wing County's adult entertainment ordinance and suggested the board will have to revise Cass' liquor ordinance if a license would be offered to a bar that does not serve food.
Brown indicated he may proceed with his business using "... bikini-clad dancers with no more exposure than what's on Leech Lake in the summer time" until the county makes its ordinance revisions.
Commissioner Joanne Pels expressed concern about signs for the business. That location, across Highway 200/371 from Northern Lights Casino, is already a high accident risk intersection, she said.
If people are distracted looking at a sign for topless dancers, there may be even more accidents, she said.
The board Tuesday set a moratorium on adult entertainment in the county to give time to study ordinances for that purpose and possible changes to the county liquor ordinance.
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