Town center councilor skeptical of adult entertainment request license for Lavish
For John Fyfe-Millar, it just doesn’t fit.
The councilor for London’s Ward 13 is skeptical that a request to transfer an adult lounge entertainment license to Lavish nightclub on Dundas Place is really about letting the club put on riskier burlesque shows.
Lavish, on Dundas near Clarence, is well known as a safe space for LGBTQ+ customers.
The club applied to transfer an existing live adult lounge entertainment license to Lavish’s location at 238 Dundas Street near Clarence.
But Fyfe-Millar fears that if such a license is attached to 238 Dundas St., it will pave the way for a more traditional strip club should ownership change in the future.
“They’re asking us to treat it differently, and we can’t,” Fyfe-Milar said. “At the end of the day, it’s an adult entertainment license. If Lavish were to close, we now have a license in a brick and mortar venue that can now become an adult entertainment center.”
Kelly Roy is making reservations for Lavish and spoke to CBC News in response to calls for comment from owner Zoltan Harasty.
The license “gives us freedom”
Roy said the license change would allow Lavish to stage more provocative live entertainment. She said the change was necessary to help the club continue to attract a strong following in a business environment still recovering from COVID-19 restrictions and closures.
“We had burlesque at one point, but we had to be very strict about what we could and couldn’t do,” she told CBC News. “So this license gives us that freedom.”
Roy also said Lavish’s license transfer request was obscured by a separate request to have a six-door body massage parlor at 232 Dundas St. Roy said that request had nothing to do with Lavish. The app on the 232 Dundas St. app is a numbered company.
However, Roy will not name who is behind the company listed on Lavish’s request, which is listed in documents filed with the city as “Paris Clubs Corporation.”
The Lavish app would move a live adult entertainment license from an address in Dundas Street East that now operates as a hotel. The body massage app for 232 Dundas St. is currently linked to 802 Exeter Rd., an existing massage parlor called Ambience Spa.
Both applications are expected to be presented to the city’s Community and Protective Services Committee on Tuesday.
And while he doesn’t want to guess the votes of other advisers, Fyfe-Millar doesn’t expect either nomination to receive much support.
He said attaching two adult-themed business licenses to addresses on a block that already has a strip club is cause for trouble.
“You would end up with organizations in the same industry competing to fill that void,” he said. “And having them directly across the street… wouldn’t create a healthy environment in that block.”
Fyfe-Millar is also skeptical that such a license is needed to run adult-themed entertainment in Lavish to avoid enforcement action from city bylaws officers.
The city has received correspondence from businesses and residents opposing the transfer of the two licenses to Dundas Place, including a letter from the London Abused Women’s Centre.
“The demand for paid sex is fueling the growth of trafficking and exploitation of our most vulnerable populations,” writes Executive Director Jennifer Dunn.