Tuesday, April 20, 2010
End of an Era
If you hang out in downtown Seattle long enough, it's tough not to notice the Lusty Lady. Some people even call it a landmark.
But now it's a landmark going the way of the Kingdome and the Seattle Supersonics.
On June 27, the exotic dancers will take one final bow. And then the Lusty Lady will close forever.
News of the exotic venue's closing is bringing out nostalgic residents -- including some who have never been inside -- arousing mixed feelings among Seattleites.
Whether they love it or hate it -- or just laugh at the often-photographed marquee -- no one can deny that the Lusty Lady has been a Seattle symbol of sorts.
Located just south of the Pike Place Market, it's been around for almost three decades.
"It's an eye-catcher, ya know," says Josh Washburn of Bremerton.
No matter whom you ask, everybody knows what the Lusty Lady is.
"I walk by it every day to go to my bus stop. I'm going to miss it if it's not there anymore. It's always timely and creative. I feel like whoever just puts up these marquees is just brilliant," says Olin Gutierrez of Seattle.
It's not hard to figure out what goes on behind the marquee and the flashing lights.
But managers say they had no choice but to close -- even the adult entertainment industry couldn't weather the down economy.
"They let us know that we're not recession-proof. And just like all companies hurting, we're no different," says Eugenio Cano, the Lusty Lady's night manager. "We'd like to think that we are, but we aren't."
When the venue closes, nearly 100 employees will be without a job -- leaving Seattle a little less sassy and lacking a little bit of "lust"er.
Employees were told about the impending closure at a meeting.
Andrea Roldan, an employee, was there.
"Deborah (a manager at the club) continued to say at the meeting, 'Heads up, chin up and butt out. So walk with pride, no matter what, we made it this far, and it's not the end.'" she says.
Of course, the Lusty Lady hasn't been without its haters. In fact, some of the neighbors have been fighting to get rid of it for years.
But only a couple of people interviewed by KOMO News say they're glad to see it go.
What will turn up in its place remains to be seen.