A Florida bar owner who infamously banned patrons from wearing face masks during the novel coronavirus pandemic is lashing out after getting arrested for hosting an unlicensed strip show at his establishment.
The Washington Post reports that Gary Kirby, the owner of the Westside Sports Bar & Grill in West Melbourne, Florida, was arrested last week after undercover police officers attended what was advertised as a “male revue” at his bar.
As the Post writes, the undercover officers claimed that the event featured “lap dances, nudity, exposed male genitalia and other violations of the city’s adult entertainment code,” and they subsequently charged him with hosting an unlicensed strip show.
In an interview with the Post, Kirby defended the event and implied that he was being targeted because of his past defiance of public health guidelines.
“There were no genitals involved,” Kirby told the Post. “It became a problem only because of the hatred that the bar had received, shaming us for banning masks.”
Kirby did acknowledge that the event did take advantage of some “gray areas” in the city’s rules on adult entertainment, but still insisted of the male dancers who participated in the show: “Their clothes stay on, their undergarments will always be on.”
Kirby has become notorious in recent months for banning masks at his establishment, and Westside Sports Bar has a sign on its exterior that pushes patrons to throw their “filthy” masks away to “end this nonsense.”