Houston, Texas has just recently opened its first ever drive-thru strip club as businesses pivot sales strategies in an attempt to adjust and survive the new normal. Customers looking for some exotic entertainment with some good grub can now enjoy dinner and a show risk-free in the comfort of their own vehicle.
Necessity is indeed the mother of all inventions that brings out the human capability to adapt to its environment. This is how Vivid Gentleman's Club located in Winrock, Houston has managed to cope and keep their staff employed as businesses continue to fold up across the US.
With the slow death of buffet dining and with bars shutting down, nightly live entertainment has taken up home in strategically located white pop-up tents. Dancers do their performances in an area blocked off by steel barricades that allow cars to drive through. As purple and blue lighting casts a familiar ambience onto the venue and club beats pulse through the air, cars can drive into the white tent and stay to watch the dancers perform two song numbers while they wait for their food orders to be served.
The menu selection includes the usual strip club fare such as burgers and sandwiches, pizza, nachos and jalapeno poppers. Alcoholic beverages are also available in the form of six-pack beers and even bottles of Fireball Whisky.
In an article on the Houston Chronicle, it says the dancers may or may not be wearing masks while customers also have the option to not wear a face mask as the distance keeps them far enough from each other to put either of them at risk. After the two-song performance limit is done, drivers leave their tips on the pavement for the staff to gather as the car moves along to pick up their orders.
Club manager, Gino DiLollo says, "we're doing it for the entertainers, the staff and employees, because to keep us open, we just can't do the numbers. We're not making any money. This is purely for the staff," DiLollo adds.
A similar drive-thru experience has been earlier set up in Portland, Oregon since the coronavirus crisis began in March. The Lucky Devil strip club was the first in the US to come up with this idea in an effort to provide a pandemic paradise to regular clientele. Because strip clubs seem to fall in a grey crack between a bar and a restaurant, the drive-thru concept could just be a last ditch life line for staff and dancers to stay afloat and survive an industry that does not hold any real consideration for patronage at this time.