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Friday, November 8,2013

Spiral goes nude

Spiral Video and Dance Bar celebrates 15 years with first fully nude dancers following federal court decision

by Andy Balaskovitz
Courtesy photo

Friday, Nov. 8 — Spiral Video and Dance Bar in Old Town celebrates 15 years in business Saturday with an all-new kind of show: Fully nude dancers. It’s a party that couldn’t have happened for the 14-year anniversary.


In July, Spiral was issued a “topless activity permit” from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, roughly seven months after a federal judge in Detroit ruled a portion of Michigan’s liquor control laws related to topless activity was a violation of the First Amendment and therefore unconstitutional.


Michael Brown, a Lansing attorney who specializes in liquor control litigation, said the December 2012 ruling “effectively took away” the Liquor Control Commission’s ability to say fully nude dancing at bars with these permits is illegal. He cited the 2012 case of a Detroit club owned by S.A. Restaurants Inc. against the state.


Spiral General Manager Daniel Young said the club’s plan has led to a series of correspondence between city officials, the Liquor Control Commission and the state Attorney General’s Office. However, he says the Liquor Control Commission has confirmed the fully nude event can carry on.


“It’s been a chaotic mess,” he said. “We’re kind of a guinea pig for this whole thing.”


Andrea Miller, spokeswoman for the Liquor Control Commission, said the court’s decision meant local units of government did not have to give prior approval for such licenses.


The anniversary celebration features three male dancers and one female dancer, as well as the Miami-based DJ Cindel. Young added that such events will happen “on demand” and that not all evenings will feature fully nude dancers.


The 18-and-over party is 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Saturday. Spiral also has an extended hours permit to stay open past 2 a.m. Free shuttles are available to and from East Lansing.


“We’ve been in business for 15 years,” Young said. “We try to throw the best parties in Lansing.”

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