Stringfellow succeeds in making it no G-strings attached

By Jack Foley

 

PETER STRINGFELLOW, playboy extraordinaire, has succeeded in allowing his tableside dancers to perform totally nude, following approval from members of Westminster Council's Licensing Committee.

The controversial decision, which brings an end to the policy stipulating that all tableside dancers must wear at least a G-string, has already been deplored by some residents who fear it will reduce the Stringfellows club to nothing more than a brothel. There is also concern that 18 other clubs in Westminster may follow suit in the near future, making the area sleazier.

However, Mr Stringfellow himself is delighted at the outcome, which was announced on Thursday, February 14, 2002 following an all-day hearing. He feels the club had to 'move with the times' and said he would not be asking any of his girls to dance naked if they did not want to. There would also be no touching allowed from clients.

Commenting on residents' fears of the policy spreading, Mr Stringfellow admitted that it would probably set a precedent, adding that he felt other clubs would follow his lead.

The application to change the rules governing nudity at clubs in Westminster was made in response to Camden's decision to allow strippers to go 'all the way'. Mr Stringfellow claimed that Camden Council's policy had put him at a competitive disadvantage and pointed towards the rising number of strip clubs opening in Camden as evidence of this.

Another club, For Your Eyes Only, based in Mayfair, has already responded to the decision by lodging its own application for nude dancing.

But a spokesman for Westminster Council has assured residents that its decision was not taken lightly and that there were no police objections to the proposal. The licence has been granted until the end of May, when it will be reviewed, and any future applications would be considered on its individual merits.

All-nude dancing is already an accepted form of entertainment in America, where laws in certain States prohibit the sale of alcohol to venues which offer complete striptease. It remains to be seen how quickly the nude clause catches on in London.