At a popular Northridge nightclub, dancers won't be waltzing in ballroom attire or square-dancing in cowboy hats and gingham skirts any longer--in fact, they won't be wearing anything at all.
Formerly the Breakers Seafood Restaurant and Nightclub, the club has been renamed Extasy and the new owners plan to offer a different type of entertainment. "It will be a completely nude adult cabaret," said Steve Gamer, club spokesman.
Some residents and local officials are not pleased with the change.
Councilman Hal Bernson, who also opposed an earlier proposal for nude dancing at the club, has received calls from angry residents. The councilman has contacted police, the city attorney and other city agencies about the club, said Ali Sar, Bernson's press deputy.
"The councilman feels it's an inappropriate use," Sar said. "Furthermore, it's an illegal use."
But apparently the legality of the entertainment is unclear.
The club, near Nordhoff Street and Corbin Avenue, was at the center of controversy last summer when a businessman applied for a zoning permit to change the Breakers into a juice bar with nude dancers.
At a hearing held by the city zoning administrator, members of a nearby church and residents showed up to denounce the application. In response, Dana Goldwaite of Western States Enterprises, then owner of the Breakers, reassured concerned residents that the club would offer no sexually explicit dancing.
Instead, the Breakers, which also was applying for a zoning permit, would cater to 50- to 80-year-olds, offering ballroom and square dancing, Goldwaite said.
Amid opposition from the community and local officials, Seven for the Money Inc., a company that had hoped to purchase the club from Western States, withdrew its application for a permit for the juice bar.
But now the owners of Extasy Corp., which recently purchased the club, say they do not need a special zoning permit to offer nude dancing.
"The facility is situated in such a fashion so it meets all the requirements," Gamer said.
The club will open Thursday and operate seven days a week, from noon to 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and from noon to 2 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, Gamer said. The club will serve food, but no alcoholic beverages.
"We intend on running and operating it so the community will be proud of it," Gamer said. The office of the city zoning administrator is investigating to determine if the club will violate city zoning ordinances, said Andrew B. Sincosky, an associate zoning administrator. At this point, it is uncertain if the establishment needs a special zoning permit for nude dancing, he said.
The planned opening of the club has left some residents, such as Rose Landini, who opposed the earlier juice bar proposal at the zoning hearing this summer, confused and angry.
Reflecting some of the bewilderment over the club, she mistakenly thought the club had obtained a license for a nude show.
"We're in the dark with this," said Landini, who is active with the Northridge Chamber of Commerce. "My surprise and amazement is the fact that they obtained the nude dancing license. How in the world did they do that?"
Sharon Yost of the New Covenant Faith Center in Northridge also attended the hearing to voice opposition to the earlier proposal.
"I just happened to be driving down Corbin and happened to notice the signs," Yost said. The sign reads "Extasy Live Nude Girls."
"I was so irritated I didn't even go back to investigate," she said. "I drove straight to Hal Bernson's office. . . . We just don't need this anymore. The Valley has enough problems."