WARSAW — The operator of a topless bar in North Webster cleared one hurdle Thursday, Nov. 7, but is facing another.
The Kosciusko County Alcohol and Tobacco Commission on Thursday approved an alcoholic beverage permit for Nightshift Gentleman’s Club, North Webster, during a meeting.
Nightshift, doing business as Stimmelators Gentleman’s Club according to the ATC’s hearing notice, is located at 114 E. Washington St., North Webster.
Jonathan Bransfield, the manager, is purchasing Nightshift from Dharmesh Patel, Goshen. Patel purchased the business from Samuel Stimmel who operated Stimemelators for many years. In 2013, Stimmel was arrested and charged with corrupt business influence, promoting prostitution and two counts of dealing in a synthetic drug/lookalike substance.
Bransfield was present at the ATC meeting for the renewal.
“Last year, we put a one-year-only renewal on this license,” said State Excise Officer April Tackett. “So that’s why someone had to appear even though there had not been a violation on the license.”
Board President Elim Smith asked Bransfield how long Nightshift was closed.
“We weren’t actually closed for any lengthy period of time,” said Bransfield. “And I have all the paperwork to go with that. Yes, we weren’t open like seven days a week, but we were never closed for any period of time.”
Bransfield said he is currently working with the Kosciusko County Area Plan Commission as well in regards to the business.
“I have signed affidavits and sales receipts to give the APC with how the company operated while the transition [of ownership] was going on,” said Bransfield.
A letter from the Kosciusko County Area Plan Commission was addressed to Stimmel on Oct. 3 in regards to a non-conforming use at Nightshift. The letter states that “According to the Kosciusko County Zoning Ordinance 3.7.3 regarding non-conforming uses, if any non-conforming use, conducted in a structure or otherwise, ceases, for whatever reason, for a period of 6 months, its use shall thereafter conform to the uses permitted in the district in which it is located.”
The letter also states that “in as the Nightshift of North Webster was operating before the 3.23 section of the ordinance was adopted and effective on Nov. 10, 1997, the use could continue to operate. In as this business has been closed for at least six months, a business to reopen at this location will have to comply with section 3.23 of the zoning ordinance. We would ask that you provide this office with documentation that shows the business has not had any time-lapse of said business.”
“The understanding I received from the chief of police was you really haven’t been open for the last year,” said Smith. “Private parties you have, but not open to the public.”
“No, we were open to the public,” said Bransfield. “The doors were unlocked. The public was more than welcome.”
The Nightshift Gentleman’s Club Facebook page became inactive on Sept. 8, 2018, with the first social media post in 2019 made on Sept. 19.
In other business, a permit transfer for Patino’s Mexican Grill, 918 N. Detroit St., Warsaw, was also approved.
The following permits were also renewed during the meeting:
- Time Out Inn of Warsaw, Inc., doing business as Time Out Inn, 1701 W. Lake St., Warsaw. Beer, wine and liquor – restaurant.
- Keg Corporation, doing business as The Keg, 111 W. Van Buren St., Leesburg. Beer, wine and liquor – restaurant.
The board’s next meeting will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, in the Kosciusko County Courthouse.