Strip club planned at North Seattle pancake house
A longtime restaurant on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle — Cyndy's House of Pancakes — may be turned into an adult strip club this spring if Bob Davis gets his way.
Seattle Times staff reporter
If you order a sizzling strip this spring at what is now Cyndy's House of Pancakes, you may not be getting bacon.
Bob Davis plans to turn the longtime restaurant at 10507 Aurora Ave. N. into an adult strip club.
If the name and subject look familiar, it was Davis who sued the city of Seattle over its strip-club moratoriums in 2005 and came away with a $500,000 settlement. A similar suit in Bothell netted him $350,000 in July.
Cyndy's would be the first one he'd actually open, providing that the sale and building permit go through.
Davis said he'll still call it Cyndy's. "It's been the same name since 1972," he said, "so why change the name? Everyone in town knows where Cyndy's is."
Asked if that might initially throw off some of the current regulars, Davis said, "Well, we might still have pancakes."
He said the appeal of the property was that it has a kitchen and he wants food service in his club. Also, it's by a busy intersection and has its own parking lot.
The city lifted 17 years of moratoriums on new strip clubs in June 2007, after a federal court ruled the bans violated the First Amendment.
One such club has opened in downtown Seattle and another is to open near Safeco Field, although the Seattle Mariners are considering a lawsuit to block the plan.
The city rejected the Mariners' contention that Safeco Field is a public park, open space or community center — near which strip clubs are not allowed.
Cyndy's current owner, Gae Bowman, has been at the restaurant for 36 years and said she hadn't been aware of Davis' plans for the place. But there were no other buyers, and Davis is offering cash.
The 74-year-old restaurant owner broke a hip three years ago and said she wants to retire.
"What they do with the property after they get it isn't up to me," she said.
The deal's expected to close in January. According to the Department of Planning and Development, it will take two to four months to ensure the proposed strip club is at least 800 feet from any schools, community centers, child-care facilities or public parks and open space.
The city also doesn't allow strip clubs within 600 feet of another adult cabaret.
"These clubs upset a lot of people," Davis acknowledged. But, he argued, "It's not like I'm going to run down the neighborhood. It's not like it's Laurelhurst. You've got adult bookstores, porno shops — and that's not counting the hookers that are out on the street.
"People think these strip clubs are whorehouses, but they're dance clubs," he said. "I don't put up with pimps and that stuff. No drug dealers. We're talking a legitimate business here. It'll be a building with no windows and a guard at the door. It's not going to offend anybody."
A former airline pilot, Davis previously owned Giggles Comedy Club and the Urban Comedy Cafe. He said he also may open a strip club at 2025 Fifth Ave. if he can get a lease signed.
Why strip joints?
"To me it's just a business," Davis said. "I don't personally go into those clubs, only for research purposes. I'm liberal to the point I think the men deserve some nice clubs in this town. I want to have a nice one with food service."
Seattle Times reporter Steve Miletich contributed to this story.
Mark Rahner: 206-464-8259 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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