If you take the southbound State Road 207 exit on Interstate 95 near St. Augustine, Florida, you'll see Café Erotica, a decrepit rural strip club. The café, which reportedly shut down in September, has been engaged in a bitter fight with St. Johns County code enforcement supervisor James Acosta.

I know this not because I keep abreast of the club's activities, but because you can't miss the huge 10- by 40-foot sign it recently erected.

Whenever we drive past this sign, my kids laugh like Beavis and Butthead.

The county and Café Erotica have battled in court for years over signs that tell the world they "dare to bare." The club set up a web site, Dumb Butt Acosta, that describes the last sign they put up in his honor three years ago:

There is a political statement sign up saying "In our opinion, James Acosta is a fat ---Barney Fife type which has cost the county thousand of dollars in lawsuits for using selective enforcement." This sign was erected by Café Erotica. Apparently Barney Fife here has decided which operations are OK and which are not based solely on the name. ... Our original intention was simply a quick footnote on this jerk but we have decided that due to recent ranting from this gay acting, gun toting lunatic to be a little more generous in what we will release to the public about this -------.

The site reveals that the club's actual name is Café Erotica/We Dare to Bare/Adult Toys/Great Food/Exit 94, but it doesn't really dare to bare -- an extremely precise local ordinance requires opaque modesty:

Buttocks: The area at the rear of the human body (sometimes referred to as the glutaeus maximus) which lies between two imaginary straight lines running parallel to the ground when a person is standing, the first or top such line being 1/2 inch below the top of the vertical cleavage of the nates (i.e., the prominence formed by the muscles running from the back of the hip to the back of the leg) and the second or bottom such line being 1/2 inch above the lowest point of the curvature of the fleshy protuberance (sometimes referred to as the gluteal fold), and between two imaginary straight lines, one on each side of the body (the "outside line"), which outside lines are perpendicular to the ground and to the horizontal lines described above and which perpendicular outside lines pass through the outermost point(s) at which each nate meets the outer side of each leg. Notwithstanding the above, Buttocks shall not include the leg, the hamstring muscle below the gluteal fold, the tensor fasciae latae muscle or any of the above-described portion of the human body that is between either (i) the left inside perpendicular line and the left outside perpendicular line or (ii) the right inside perpendicular line and the right outside perpendicular line. For the purpose of the previous sentence the left inside perpendicular line shall be an imaginary straight line on the left side of the anus (i) that is perpendicular to the ground and to the horizontal lines described above and (ii) that is 1/3 of the distance from the anus to the left outside line, and the right inside perpendicular line shall be an imaginary straight line on the right side of the anus (i) that is perpendicular to the ground and to the horizontal lines described above and (ii) that is 1/3 of the distance from the anus to the right outside line.

The ordinance spends a lot less time defining breasts; someone in the county attorney's office must be an ass man.

I never visited the club. I'm too Catholic to enjoy it properly and even with "Great Food" in the name, I fear that sexually oriented businesses do not follow good hygienic practices in food preparation. A blogger visiting every Starbucks in the world made a stop in 2004 and was not impressed:

... the club was unremarkable, and not worth hanging out in, except to try out the weird-ass private dance room in which the customer reclined on a ... a recliner, I guess while the dancers straddled from above. Weird.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

Are you aware that your RSS feed is broken? It looks like you've taken a source document that is already UTF-8 encoded and then reencoded it with UTF-8 a second time. The end result is that all the e-acute characters in this article are not being displayed properly in the feed.


 

Thanks. The feed validates, so it might not be a problem in the RSS, but there's definitely a character encoding problem. I switched to the numeric HTML entity code for eacuate characters. If you can take another look, let me know if that helped.


 

Who wrote that ordinance, Pythagoras? I guess He was an ass man. Anyway, I can't believe that your Due Diligence post raised such a storm, yet this juicy item, just begging for lampoons and mal mots, gets near zilch.

What's up, sheeple?


 

Personally, I'd rather read a treatise on Sumerian pornography in cuneiform, than go to one of these sleazy clubs.

And anyone who actually EATS at one of them had better make reservations for a stomach pump, and you might ask if they'll throw in a coffee enema.


 

I found that ordinance very arousing, but you're right, it would be better if the writer was more of a mammarius maximus man.


 

Man, Rogers, you have some real
cases hanging around here.

Seriously, the "powers that be" should make a compromise with Cafe Erotica, and let whoever wrote the billboard text write the new ordinance, also.

His, or her, prose is much better than the prose of the present ordinance.


 

Look here, you boys. My family has been in St. Johns County since Cracker days. We don't "cotton" to no carpet-baggin franchises. Everybody knows these joints are run by either _____ or _____.


 

Well, what can you add to that?
I see some real potential in that sign. It has all the elements of folk kitsch, just dying for deconstructionist commentary.


 

Ahem. Gentlemen, I was hoping we could keep this discussion on a higher plane.

There are loftier values we should consider, than the geometry of the female form (although, might I add, there are none fairer than dwell on this fair isle).

It is a devaluation of the inherent dignity of Woman, to make of her a Commodity.


 

These religiosos are thread-killers everytime.

Those who are easily shocked, should be shocked more often.


 

It's better to be looked over, than overlooked.


 

Am still blogging blog. We dont have this in Ulan Bator. Seem like good idea. Please send instructs how start strip club.


 

Well, it's like this--strip clubs and their owners are like anthills and ants, who build where conditions are right. Nature requires it.

But it's this society's warped demonization of a sexual marketplace, in such a sex-saturated media environment, that I find so strange.


 

It's gonna take a heap of matter to get my mind offa what i saw at the club on a saturday nite.


 

Would you believe that drunk frat boys are easy pickin's at aplace like this on a Fri. night?


 

...and you can't miss the huge...it recently erected...

All this innuendo, for shame.


 

What I want to know is who takes the measurements when strict interpretation of the law is enforced?


 

"someone in the county attorney's office must be an ass man."

Funniest thing I've read in weeks.


 

A blogger visiting every Starbucks in the world deserves whatever mishaps may befall him.

"My eyes!!! I would need whiskey to sear the image from my memory."

Will that be scotch or rye?


 

Welp, they lost me when they tried to use 'gun toting' as a bad thing. I tote my gun everywhere because I have a brain and a permit to do so. What good is a right to protect yourself if you don't have the tools that give you the ability? Lunatics? Lunatics think that being helpless and telling the newspapers 'there was nothing I could do, who would expect that in this neighborhood.'

There is something I can do, because I choose not to be a helpless idiot. I, and the people I know, deserve better than excuses published in a newspaper about how they died.

If they don't like guns, they don't need my money.


 

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