OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Today, Omaha's City Council held a session to talk about funding a redevelopment project near Nebraska Medical Center and a liquor license for a go-go dancing club...owned by Club Omaha's Shane Harrington.
Club Omaha Owner Shane Harrington is in the process of opening a new club called Hustler for which he was seeking a liquor license. In exchange for the license, Harrington said he would make Club Omaha liquor free, will allow police access to the club to check, will drop three lawsuits on behalf of the club and also promised that dancers would wear bikinis if they were promoting the business outside its walls.
Harrington says members are adults and that they don't need to be checked on but that he understands they must uphold regulations.
Omaha Council Member Aimee Melton says she finds many of the things Harrington has done despicable but that she believes approving the license would be better for the city overall.
The city's prosecutor said police have not been called to Club Omaha for any major concerns.
Harrington says he wants to be a good business man and show that his clubs are not a strain on the police and community. He hopes that they can all get along.
The city council's vote is simply a recommendation. The decision will ultimately be made by the Nebraska Liquor Commission as to whether the club is awarded a liquor license.
Council members also approved a $6.5 million TIF project near 46th and Dodge Streets. The TIF will help cover construction costs of an 8-story building with almost 300 apartments. Those opposed say people living in the area would not be able to afford to live there.
$6.5 million in TIF for 46th and Dodge St. development approved 6-0.— Jake Wasikowski (@jakewasikowski) July 16, 2019
Harrington starts by talking about owning clubs across Nebraska and hosting charitable events at his businesses. Also talks about helping women who he hires as entertainers.— Jake Wasikowski (@jakewasikowski) July 16, 2019
Harrington says currently people can bring alcohol into Club Omaha and feels the statute addressing that doesn’t apply to his business. Says he can’t say yes or no if they’d allow police into Club Omaha if approved for liquor at the Hustler Club.@3NewsNowOmaha pic.twitter.com/wqaFC5FpBg— Jake Wasikowski (@jakewasikowski) July 16, 2019
City Prosecutor Matt Kuhse says if he is granted a liquor license police would be allowed inside whenever they want. Adds if Harrington opened a bar first and then opened Club Omaha they likely wouldn’t be able to regulate Club Omaha.@3NewsNowOmaha— Jake Wasikowski (@jakewasikowski) July 16, 2019
The city council wants to know if granting a liquor license to the new business allows police to enter Club Omaha without probable cause. So far it doesn’t seem that way.— Jake Wasikowski (@jakewasikowski) July 16, 2019
Kuhse says he’s not aware of any incidents at the current location of Club Omaha at 120th & Center. Incidents at the previous 72nd & Dodge location involved people who were told to leave and didn’t want to, but Harrington didn’t start the trouble.@3NewsNowOmaha pic.twitter.com/GEg2UQQ1fY— Jake Wasikowski (@jakewasikowski) July 16, 2019
Harrington says if he gets a liquor license for the Hustler Club he would no longer allow alcohol at Club Omaha. But Councilman Harding presses why he won’t allow police to check the club.@3NewsNowOmaha— Jake Wasikowski (@jakewasikowski) July 16, 2019
Kuhse says if the no alcohol at Club Omaha is put in the liquor license for Hustler Club he could argue that the license would cover the whole structure.@3NewsNowOmaha— Jake Wasikowski (@jakewasikowski) July 16, 2019
City council approves the liquor license 6-0 with stipulations that Harrington not serve alcohol at Club Omaha, he drops the 3 lawsuits, and dancers have to wear bikinis if they are out promoting the business.@3NewsNowOmaha— Jake Wasikowski (@jakewasikowski) July 16, 2019