Fort Worth Local News

Tarrant County officials shut down notorious strip club Temptations, citing zoning violation

Tarrant County, Texas – In a recent resolution that will reverberate through Tarrant County’s nocturnal landscape, a special board has unanimously decided on the revocation of the business permit of a notorious strip club, renowned for its dangerous atmosphere.

Temptations Cabaret, an adult entertainment venue, found itself in the crosshairs of county officials following an alarming increase in violence, culminating in a lethal shooting incident this May in its parking lot, that resulted in one fatality and injuries to three individuals.

Temptations Cabaret has been a hot topic in Tarrant County in recent years due to numerous incidents

The county’s law enforcement, represented by the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, has an intricate history with the venue, having executed 57 arrests within its premises during the period spanning from 2020 to 2022.

Within that same temporal space, emergency services noted an exceptional trend: the volume of 911 calls originating from Temptations Cabaret eclipsed the sum total of all emergency calls placed from the remaining ten bars and nightclubs within the unincorporated regions of Tarrant County.

“We don’t stand for activity like that,” county commissioner Manny Ramirez said. “If it’s a public safety hazard to our citizens, we’re going to stand up and do something about it.”

In response to this escalating concern, Tarrant County Commissioner Manny Ramirez vehemently stated, “Such activities are a blight on our county. If a public establishment poses a safety risk to our citizens, we’re obligated to take decisive action.”

Curiously, the reason for the impending termination of the strip club’s permit, which has been shuttered since May, is not directly tied to its notorious reputation for fostering violence. The underlying cause, as determined by the county’s sexually oriented business board, is the facility’s proximity to residential dwellings.

An ordinance established in the 1990s stipulates that adult entertainment venues must maintain a minimum distance of 1,000 feet from any Tarrant County residence. This mandate was temporarily sidestepped by a grandfather clause, which exempted Temptations Cabaret, allowing it to operate closer to homes.

However, the club faltered when renewing its permit in a timely manner as of 2022. This procedural misstep led the establishment to file for a permit as a new business, subsequently voiding the previous protections of the grandfather clause.

Despite this, the operations of Temptations Cabaret received a green light from the Tarrant County Administrator’s office, a puzzling decision considering the venue’s violating proximity to neighboring homes. This move however, stands as a prelude to the recent verdict that aims to terminate the club’s fraught existence.

“Our due diligence was incomplete,” retiring administrator G.K. Maenius said Wednesday. “My office made a mistake.”

Maenius disclosed that despite the club’s disreputable status, complaints lodged by nearby residents concerning the facility had not escalated to the point of his office’s intervention. However, in the aftermath of the shootings, his office took it upon themselves to scrutinize the club’s documentation, setting into motion the process to rescind its operating license.

The sexually oriented business board, which had been in a state of dormancy for several years, convened to ratify this decision. Adding weight to the decision-making process, each of the county commissioners nominated a representative to the previously vacant panel. These appointees were swiftly sworn in, mere minutes before Wednesday’s significant hearing.

“Before this, we didn’t pay that much attention,” Ramirez said. “Now, it’s on our radar.”

Tarrant County officials shut down notorious strip club Temptations, authorities recall on incidents

Ramirez, retired Fort Worth police officer still in service as a reservist, recalled attending to emergency calls at Temptations Cabaret from his tenure a decade ago. Despite this, he maintains that his actions are not a targeted campaign against sexually oriented businesses.

“All of these business owners should be on notice and understand that you better play by the rules,” Ramirez said. “You better not cause a public safety hazard to our citizens. Otherwise, we will be looking to shut you down.”

The situation is particularly precarious for Temptations Cabaret as it does not possess a liquor license, making its sexually oriented business permit a lifeline that it must cling onto to remain operational.

While the club’s lawyers have indicated the possibility of appealing the board’s decision in district court, they are yet to make a final decision on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Tarrant County District Attorney has asserted his intent to press on with a separate public nuisance lawsuit against the club, demonstrating the county’s determination to uphold public safety, irrespective of the establishment’s current state of closure.

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Carlton Doyle

At his current position at the Dallas Metro, Carlton brings his extensive experience and sharp intellect to every story he covers. His writing is crisp and compelling, and his attention to detail is unparalleled. Whether he's delving into hard-hitting investigative pieces or writing about lighter topics, Carlton always brings his A-game.

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