ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - About two years after controversial Palms Gentleman's Club opened in northeast Albuquerque, business owners voluntarily closed its doors earlier this month after police said they found two 17-year-old girls working there.
The club's bouncer and manager were arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
This wasn't the first time the club's crossed the city's radar. About six months after the controversial all-nude opened, there was an investigation into a teen customer being raped inside the club. The Palms has also been investigated for having alcohol in a property without an alcohol permit.
"It's been a persistent, ongoing problem with the Palms, more so than we see with other adult entertainment establishments in the city, so they've been on our radar for a long period of time," said Greg Wheeler, assistant city attorney.
Wheeler said they want the Palms to stay shut for at least 90 days. If they re-open, they don't want the Palms to be a strip club.
The city says negotiations with the club's attorney have been going on for about a week.
"They said they wanted to consider our offer over the weekend and may get back to us," Wheeler said. "But right now, if we reach an impasse, the city may have to file a nuisance abatement lawsuit in district court."
Attorney Roger Diamond, who represents the Palms, said they've offered to close if the charges against the bouncer and manager are dropped.
"We've made a proposal to the city, we're waiting to hear from the city attorney with a response," Diamond said. "All options are open, including closure, it depends what the city says."
However, Diamond would not say if the owner had planned to close the Palms. A 'for sale' sign has been in front of the building since before the bust.
Wheeler says he doesn't have any control over criminal charges, but considering the Palms' history, he doesn't think the club will re-open.
"Sometimes we'll shut down a property just because they've had too much interaction with the police," Wheeler said. "In this case, it's the severity, it's the nature of the activity that they're involved in."
Defined Fitness tried to keep the strip club from opening in 2011 . Management of Defined Fitness said unless there's a major shift in ownership or management, they'd be happy to see the Palms close for good.
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