A bottle club may open on Progress Street on the Northside in the coming months.
Juan Lloyd, of Rankin, wants to open Dulgance Night Club at 887 Progress Street in East Deutschtown at the former St. Wenceslaus Church before summertime, he said.
Bottle clubs, which are establishments that are not licensed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and admit patrons upon payment of a fee, cover charge or membership fee, may give complimentary alcohol to patrons or allow them to bring their own.
Lloyd, who formerly owned and operated the Pleasure Ultra Show Lounge in North Braddock, said that the Northside location will not have adult entertainment and that the term “exotic bartenders” on his website just refers to “very attractive women.”
Lloyd plans to charge a monthly membership fee per patron in addition to a cover charge that includes entertainment and security, and likens his business model to that of a gym or entertainment venue.
A clean background check and steady employment are two of the requirements for membership, Lloyd said.
“This allows this model of a business to pretty much keep out problems that other clubs deal with on a nightly basis,” Lloyd said. “It also allows me to allow people to have a few hours to cool down and sober up. It also allows them to keep socializing but it removes the alcohol.”
Lloyd said that although he has not been to a community group meeting, he has met with zoning officials as well as a representative from a Northside community group, although he did not remember who that individual was. The Chronicle could not confirm the identity of that person either.
Zoning Code Administration Officer Brendan Schubert said that Lloyd had met with him to discuss his plans, but that no application has been submitted.
The building is approved for use, Lloyd said, but he must resolve parking issues, add bathrooms and make the space handicap accessible.
Lloyd said parking is the issue at hand and he does not see any major impact in terms of the community.
“There are very few residents on that side of the bridge,” he said. “The building has very thick walls, so the sound will be very well insulated.”
Ruth Ann Dailey, president of Community Alliance of Spring Garden/East Deutschtown said that the group is aware of the club has no official position at this point.
Barbara Burns, of the East Allegheny Community Council, said she has not been contacted about the club but would be opposed to it.
“A problem you run into is that it becomes an enforcement issue,” she said. “If you want to have liquor, have a liquor license. Have a process so that the public know what you are going to do.”