Downtown San Jose is experiencing a renaissance. A new high-rise apartment building is under construction and new businesses are starting to fill long-vacant storefronts. But the Gold Club has struck a raw nerve with some people. The club will feature performers in bikinis at its high-profile downtown location.
"We've heard a lot of concerns from the business community, residents," City Councilmember Sam Liccardo said. "We know that nearby businesses may be impacted because a lot of folks simply don't want to walk on a block that has a club like this."
Liccardo is introducing new regulations to prohibit touching or tipping that might involve touching. He's also calling for a mandatory distance between performer and patrons and a minimum lighting requirement.
The executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association isn't opposing the new club.
"We don't think one business is going to change the perception of downtown," Scott Knies said. "It's a bikini bar. We've got a lot of different entertainment uses here."
While San Jose prohibits nudity at adult clubs, not so in Santa Clara County. The Pink Poodle has operated on South Bascom Avenue, just outside city limits, for an estimated half-century.
ABC7 News tried unsuccessfully to reach the owner of the Pink Poodle as well as the operator of the new Gold Club for reaction.
The Gold Club already held a job fair last week. It's expected to create 100 jobs.
Residents of San Jose are divided over having a bikini club downtown.
"I think it's hard to open a business downtown; if you can, then that's great," Amanda Langworthy said.
Another resident doesn't want her children exposed to it.
"I wouldn't like it for my kids," Dorothy Caul said. "That's not good for the eyes."
The proposed regulations for adult clubs in San Jose have to go to a committee first, so the Gold Club, set to open at the end of next week, won't be bound to them, at least not right away.