Will the Eye Candy Showgirls strip club stay in Chula Vista? The owner thinks so, but city officials disagree.
A controversial strip club that just opened in the Chula Vista Bayfront is causing uproar among community leaders in the South Bay.
Eye Candy Showgirls, located at 215 Bay Blvd. near E Street, opened for business for the first time on Sunday.
Already, Chula Vista leaders have spoken out against the new business, using words like “fraud,” “public interest” and “shock” to describe it.
The owner of the strip club, Randall Welty, told NBC 7 that he sees absolutely nothing wrong with his new business venture. He’s using words like “amendment” and “moral authority” to support his opinion.
Until recently, no one was quite sure what the business actually was. Outside, the business sign boasts a risqué name. Inside, it offers adult entertainment every day, from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
“Well, it’s nude dancing. Stripping the whole time and having fun,” Welty said when describing Eye Candy Showgirls.
But not everyone sees the “fun” in Welty's new business, including Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Castaneda.
“I’m flabbergasted,” Castaneda told NBC 7.
According to Castaneda and other city officials, Welts’ strip club is operating illegally. Officials believe that the strip club’s license may have been fraudulently obtained. Also, officials argue that city ordinance 9.13 prohibits strip clubs from operating in Chula Vista.
The owner of Eye Candy Showgirls disagrees.
“I’m afraid that if they check what I filed under for a business license, it was a cabaret theater, which is exactly what this property is zoned for,” said Welty.
Castaneda doesn’t see it that way.
“Cabarets are generally dancing clubs that have amplified music, live entertainment -- those kinds of things. Certainly not adult entertainment – that’s a different area,” said the councilman.
At this point, it seems both sides will hold their ground. And, they're prepared to battle it out.
“I see it going to court. It’s always a battle for First Ammendment rights,” said Welty.
“”At the end of the day, Chula Vista has very plain, straight-forward and enforceable ordinances that we’re going to make sure stay enforced,” added Castaneda.
Meanwhile, Chula Vista residents are also torn when it comes to the adult dancing club.
While some have no problem at all with its operation, others have a very different opinion.
“Morally, I don’t like it. I don’t like seeing it. It reminds me of Vegas!” said one resident.
Previously, the Eye Candy Showgirls building housed an Anthony’s Fish Grotto restaurant. The restaurant closed its doors a couple of years ago.
The location of the building is very high-profile in the ongoing request for South Bay redevelopment.