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.