Bikini Bars Want a Lower Bar; Goal Isn't More Skin, Clubs Say; It's Aimed at Police Discretion

By Galnor, Matt | The Florida Times Union, January 5, 2005 | Go to article overview

Bikini Bars Want a Lower Bar; Goal Isn't More Skin, Clubs Say; It's Aimed at Police Discretion


Galnor, Matt, The Florida Times Union


Byline: MATT GALNOR, The Times-Union

Jacksonville bikini bars want to ditch the bikinis and replace them with pasties and G-strings, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

A Gainesville attorney representing about a dozen clubs says the goal of the suit isn't to show more skin and increase business -- though he concedes that would be a nice bonus.

The driving factor in the suit, Gary Edinger said, is the current law leaves too much discretion to police officers who frequently raid the clubs.

City law now prohibits any of the buttocks or breast to be exposed in businesses that serve alcohol.

"It's [the law] pretty clear to me," said Lt. Mike Gwynes, commander of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office vice squad.

The first hearing in the case is not expected until late February, Edinger said, so looser restrictions would not be in place when Jacksonville hosts the Super Bowl on Feb. 6.

If the dancers can wear pasties, a small piece of fabric worn by dancers to cover the nipple, and G-strings, she's either naked or she's not, Edinger said. Gwynes said his officers will enforce whatever the law says.

Susie Wiles, a spokeswoman for Mayor John Peyton, said Peyton does not think the law should be relaxed, adding Jacksonville is a "family-friendly community. …

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