Club Madonna, the Miami Beach strip joint where police say a 13-year-old danced for money, has been allowed to reopen after a two-week shutdown.
On Monday evening, the venue and the city were able to agree on a series of conditions — such as hiring a chief compliance officer who is required to check IDs — in order to reopen.
The Washington Avenue strip club, which bills itself as Miami Beach’s only fully nude adult entertainment venue, was closed on Jan. 10 when the city pulled its business permits in the wake of police reports that a runaway teen was forced to dance there. Four people, including a dancer at the club, have been charged with trafficking the young girl.
In the order allowing the club to open again, City Manager Jimmy Morales wrote: “Investigations, both criminal and civil, remain ongoing.”
Club Madonna has maintained it has no proof of an underage performer working there, and responded to the city’s shutdown order by filing a federal complaint seeking an injunction against Miami Beach. A hearing on the injunction had been set for Friday, and a city hearing was set for next week. It’s unlikely those hearings will be necessary now, said club attorney Daniel Aaronson. However, the club’s complaint will probably move forward, he said.
In order to reopen, Club Madonna had to agree to hire compliance officers who will be responsible for maintaining sign-in and sign-out logs, including verification that performers’ IDs were checked. Performers will have to sign sworn statements that they are not minors and not being coerced to dance.
The club also agreed to join relevant trade organizations, and is now required to provide weekly affidavits swearing that the agreed-upon conditions are being followed.
“There is no agreement that it is permanent, but it would be illogical if we comply with this and there are no other problems to do anything but allow us to continue on,” Aaronson said.