A new private club may be dancing on the edge of the law.
It’s unclear exactly where Regina 151 opened its doors back in April, but deep in Regina’s industrial area the door of a nondescript building bears the members only strip club’s logo.
“This is a zoning issue,” Mayor Michael Fougere said. “Are they in the right place? Are they allowed to be there? Then there’s actually what’s inside the building.”
Provincial laws ban adult entertainment where alcohol is sold, but by providing booze as a membership perk, this group may have found a way around it.
“If this guy is on the up and up and there’s just an ‘I” that didn’t get dotted and he can dot it and clarify… Maybe he’s found a loophole,” Coun. Jerry Flegel said. “We have to wait and see.”
According to Regina 151’s website, a membership includes all entertainment and party favors for an annual price of $120.
“Regina 151 will not “sell” alcohol but all members will enjoy all complimentary party essentials available,” the website explains.
“Non-members can attend an event with a one-day membership in addition to paying the event fee. Regina 151 doesn’t keep regular business hours, opening only during an event.”
Now several groups, including the City and Regina Police Service, are looking into the legality of what the club is doing.
The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority confirmed on Thursday the establishment doesn’t have a liquor permit.
“SLGA’s regulatory authority is limited to permitted liquor establishments,” SLGA spokesperson David Morris noted. “In cases where a business is selling/serving alcohol without a liquor permit, it becomes a matter for police.”
Fougere also confirmed the group did not apply for a zoning permit or discretionary use application- which was used in a failed venture to bring a strip club to the city in early 2015.
Regina 151’s website says it sought the advice of lawyers before opening, however, its owner declined to comment on this story.
Flegel says he isn’t surprised someone tried to circumvent the rules after the province walked back legislation covering adult entertainment in April of 2015.
“Maybe this is the only one we found out about,” Flegel said. “There could be other ones in Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon. We don’t know.”
Any potential lawbreaking aside, dancers we spoke to say the club is a step forward for adult entertainment in the province. They say it’s a much safer environment than booking private shows at hotel rooms, warehouses and even remote camps.
“Many dancers from other provinces have been inquiring about traveling to work here in the private club because lots miss Saskatchewan, but had to move to continue dancing in provinces that allow strip clubs,” one woman said. “I do believe the province needs to re-examine the laws, but for now, this club is a great start for us dancers.”
Fougere says the investigation likely won’t take long, but in the meantime, it’s unclear whether currently scheduled events will take place at the elusive Regina 151.