The Onyx Club had been open for less than an hour Friday morning before the police arrived.
HOUSTON – A Houston strip club that attempted to open early Friday morning and was then closed by police has been granted a temporary restraining order against the city of Houston by a federal judge.
The restraining order is filed against the city, the police and fire departments, and various police and firefighters.
The ordinance prohibits city officials from arresting employees for the operation of the club and from closing the club under Governor Abbott’s executive order. City officials are also prohibited from staying on club property or within 400 meters of the building for 30 minutes, except when investigating a crime.
The Onyx Club says it is authorized to open under Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order which allows restaurants to resume operations at 25% capacity. In its ordinance filed in the southern American district of Texas, Onyx claims that it is a restaurant and a gentlemen’s club that makes less than 50% of its alcohol sales, a distinction unique to Texas that separates bars from restaurants .
The club had been open for less than an hour on Friday night before Houston police and fire marshals shut it down.
“I just think they are wrong,” said owner Eric Langan early Friday morning.
The ordinance states that the city violated “the club’s civil rights by intimidating its customers and employees, shutting down the business without a legal basis, and threatening its officials to stop illegally and without permission.”
The Onyx Club announced Wednesday on its Facebook page its intention to reopen with a limited number of places while practicing social distancing. He would also have all the staff masked and provide hand sanitizer in the club.
The club noted in its order, “The dancers at Onyx Houston did not offer lap dances but simply provided entertainment at a safe distance. “
In response to the ban, Houston mayor Sylvester Turner asked the governor to clarify whether sexually oriented businesses, such as Onyx, could operate under his decree.
“Before the pandemic, the Onyx Club operated primarily and classified itself as a sex business,” said Turner. “But now it claims to be a restaurant. “
If Abbott chooses not to allow the strip clubs to reopen, Turner said he would ask the Texas Attorney General’s office to intervene and shut down the club, citing limited resources to fight the order. governor.