Was City Tricked Into Approving Controversial Strip Club?

Business license documents show that Eye Candy Showgirls claimed to be a 'cabaret' rather than a strip club

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego

    The documents filed to open a controversial strip club in the South Bay reveal that the City of Chula Vista may have been tricked into approving the club’s questionable business plan.

    Eye Candy Showgirls, located at 215 Bay Blvd. near E Street, opened for business for the first time on Sunday.

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    Since then, the club been causing uproar among community leaders who argue the strip club is operating illegally and may have fraudulently obtained its business license.

    The club’s owner, Randall Welty, and his lawyer, argue otherwise.

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    As of right now,, it appears the case may be heading to court, and the key word may be “cabaret.”

    On Monday, Welty – who has a long record of fighting city laws in Southern California involving adult entertainment businesses – told NBC 7 he didn’t trick Chula Vista city officials when he suddenly changed plans for his new Bayfront business from a comedy club to a strip club.

    "I'm afraid if they'll check what I filed under a business license, it was [for] a cabaret theater which is exactly what this property is zoned for,” said Welty.

    NBC 7 obtained a copy of Welty’s business license application and it does state “cabaret,” not comedy club.

    Still, Chula Vista leaders -- including the mayor – are outraged, arguing that strip clubs are not allowed in the area under city laws.

    Chula Vista officials gave NBC 7 other documents that clearly show Welty’s plans were to open a comedy club, not a strip club. They claim the city was duped by Welty.

    However, Welty’s attorney claims “everything was done properly” on their end. and is basically daring the city to try and close down the business. The attorney said they are more than ready to take the issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Meanwhile, near the Chula Vista Bayfront, city officials are not the only ones disturbed by the opening of Eye Candy Showgirls.

    Local job seeker Karina Perez told NBC 7 she was almost hired to work for the club, back when she was told it was a comedy club.

    Perez said she recently applied for a job as a waitress there but became a bit suspicious after speaking with one of the owners.

    "He kept kind of saying, ‘Did you hear about our uniform requirements?’ And, I was like, ‘No, I wasn’t told.’ I thought he was about to say it’s a green apron, and he says it’s booty shorts. And, I’m like, ‘Booty shorts? Uh…’” explained Perez.

    Perez didn’t end up getting the gig but on Wednesday, she did get a shocking surprise as she was driving past the once-vacant building.

    That’s when she saw the new business sign outside the building boasting the words “Eye Candy Showgirls.”

    "I had to do a double take. I was like what's going on? That was supposed to be a comedy club, I interviewed there twice,” she said.

    Like city officials, Perez said she believes the strip club is operating on borrowed time.

    "Honestly it should probably be closed down,” said Perez. “This is NOT the new Chula Vista [Bayfront] expansion our city needs.”

    The location of the building is very high-profile in the ongoing request for South Bay redevelopment.