Penelope Hatteras

The owner of a Cedar Springs strip property that’s been the subject of a recent rent dispute once spent three years in federal prison for running a notorious statewide call girl ring.

Last week we reported that Penelope Hatteras, who owns the building that houses the Drama Room, had locked out her tenants, the Hershner family, as the two sides continue to haggle over the lease.

In 1985, Hatteras was sentenced to five years probation and a $10,000 fine for operating a high-priced call girl service in Sugar Land. The next year she was ordered to prison for 26 months for continuing to operate the prostitution ring while on probation.

Hatteras claimed to have had 200 call girls in Houston, Dallas, Denver and Atlanta and took in $10 million annually.

When Hatteras got out of a Fort Worth prison, she bought the property on Cedar Springs Road in Dallas where the Drama Room now stands and opened a gay bar. That bar failed and several others have operated in that space since, including Mickey’s and the original BJ’s.

In 2008, the Houston Chronicle interviewed Hatteras about the Eliot Spitzer call girl scandal that brought down the New York governor.