New S&M club — that’s ‘stand and model’ — opens amid controversy
Kyle Woods has a lot on his mind this week. He has construction workers to keep tabs on, interiors to get finished out and all those final touches in getting his new club, Cherries, open June 19. He is sure it will be a hit but also knows that no matter what, those last few hours up to the opening will be crammed full of anticipation and anxiety.
"A lot of people are doing typical stuff. We are trying to do it a little different," Woods says. "We want to put a little taste into it; we want some class — well, class as you can get it on Maple Avenue."
Cherries is an ambitious product for the neighborhood of Knight and Maple. Taking over the old Mexican restaurant El Rincon Tapatio, Cherries looks to bring sexy back to Maple Avenue. "It’s a male model club. The environment is basically a bar or tavern with commercial amusement. There will be male entertainers and models, " he says. "We’ll have free valet, no cover, VIP area, huge patio and drink specials. We want to bring back the real $2 Tuesdays to the Cedar Springs area."
Sounds great, but so far it sounds like most other bars with alcohol and hunky dancers. Zippers, anyone? That is until he says one word. "Shower."
"Yeah, we are going to do the shower scene. Basically it is a duel shower with glow in the dark paint and models," Woods boasts. Sexy back, indeed.
Woods figured a new gay club in that Maple and Knight intersection should go off without a hitch — Buddies II, Illusions and the Brick are longtime mainstays. Then some people not so keen on the new "male model club" in their neighborhood began making their voices heard. Woods began to feel targeted by some of his new neighbors.
"The Stemmons Corridor Business Association tried to stop us from opening," Woods says. "Frank Ashmore, the owner of Sunshine [Cleaners], protested our opening with the city."
The SCBA denies this. Association president Matt Ferguson said in an e-mail that their issue is with "negative experiences with crime rates in areas where there is a high density of bars."
They met face to face with Woods and his attorneys and, according to Ferguson, settled on some conditions of the specific use permit (SUP), including having a security officer and sufficient lighting. "To reciprocate this offer, I withdrew SCBA’s protest for a liquor license and did not oppose the SUP. I categorically disagree with Mr. Woods’ statement that SCBA is trying to keep him from opening a bar."
"He withdrew because he knew he was going to win it," Woods counters.
But despite the conflicts, Woods says he ended up working well with Ferguson. "[The SCBA] actually turned around and helped out in the end," he says.
Woods isn’t holding back on his investment. "It is very difficult in that area, but if I didn’t like a challenge, I wouldn’t be doing this," he says. "Dallas is the sixth largest gay population in the U.S. There is a demand for this kind of entertainment in the way we’re doing it."
As for all the initial troubles, well, Woods likes it all.
"I’m glad there’s controversy," he says. "That’s a good thing."
Cherries, 2506 Knight St., opens June 19 at noon, entertainers after 9 p.m. Open daily noon â€“ 2 a.m. 214-520-8251. Myspace.com/clubcherries.
Dalton at large
Call me a cynic, but I would have imagined years in a Texas prison would have hardened the already hard-bodied Mark Dalton.
The man whom gay porn uber-agent David Forest described as the most popular adult start of the new millennium has dealt with his share of troubles, including arrests for drug possession and domestic violence that landed him in the clink for the better part of the last five years.
But after a more than two-year hiatus, Dalton (nee Jeremy Sons) has been cleared to resume his career — including traveling outside of Texas. But we only care that he’s already set to show up in Texas, with his first personal appearance at the Bonham Exchange in San Antonio on July 25.
The Denton-based Dalton, who used to dance at Crews Inn, says his "little break" — his words — "gave me a chance to refresh my mind, get my body in the finest shape it’s ever been in and to reconfirm my focus for this period of my life."
A prison-sculpted body from our favorite straight muscle man? Can’t argue with that.
— Arnold Wayne Jones
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 19, 2009.