Charlotte strip club loses alcohol permit due to COVID violations

The club reportedly allowed large crowds and lap dances

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Over the holiday weekend, a strip club in North Carolina got its permits to serve alcohol suspended after authorities witnessed large crowds of customers and lap dancers congregating at the venue without masks.

According to reports, when a state investigator entered the Club Onyx at 5300 Old Pineville Road in south Charlotte early on Nov. 1, they saw approximately 200 patrons packed inside they popular venue. As a result, on Friday, the state ordered a suspension of its permits.

“Grossly exceeded capacity limitations,” Special Agent Kelly Kearns wrote in the suspension order.

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Kearns’s written observations in the order issued by the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission stated that the agent saw “intimate person-to-person contact between employees and patrons, as well as between patrons” and that there were no “precautions by employees to prevent cross-contamination when serving multiple patrons,” or sanitization efforts in compliance with coronavirus guidelines.

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Patrons in the private club were also seen “smoking hookah and sharing other handled tobacco products inside” and to add insult to injury, the following morning Kearns claims she saw “an extremely long, dense line of patrons waiting to enter the establishment, wrapping around the exterior of the building” that showed no signs of social distancing and no masks being worn.

After Kearns returned and saw similar conditions in the club yet again on Nov. 14, on Nov. 17, a commission lawyer official notified the club that it was violating orders.

“Welcome to Club Onyx Charlotte, the Largest Urban Gentlemen’s Club in the southeast with over 20,000 square feet of Adult Entertainment,” read’s the venue’s website, which advertises itself as the “No. 1 Hip Hop Strip Club.”

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Although Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Detective Chad Denton has cited club general manager Daniel Newell for operating the establishment in clear violation of Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 executive orders, Newell has responded by arguing that the commission’s order was “too vague.” He additionally argued that since Club Onyx also serves food it should not be subject to private bar restrictions under the governor’s orders.

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