Downtown bar and nightclub under fire

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A downtown bar and nightclub is under fire.

The city of Cincinnati is looking to shut down the Diamond Palace Nightclub at the corner of Fifth and Elm.  They allege unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and illegally operating a sexually-oriented business.

The city has filed paperwork seeking an injunction to close the bar for a year.  They allege there has been open drug use inside the venue, insects in liquor bottles, shots fired outside and nude dancers.

This comes after what city officials say were months of investigations.

"Our police investigators determined they were engaged in a sexually oriented business in a location that does not permit that activity," said John Curp, city solicitor.

In the paperwork, the city cites undercover officers witnessing "nude, and semi-nude dancing."  In addition, they say in August, fights were breaking out, and "shots were fired from a vehicle."  Plus, they say drug use was open with "individuals openly smoking marijuana."

"They have failed to come into compliance, and when you don't comply and refuse to engage us constructively, then we will close the business down," Curp added.

There are YouTube videos taken inside the club showing nearly-nude women.  In pictures included with the injunction paperwork, there are photos of semi-nude women in various poses and situations, including ones that are sexually-suggestive.

"[It's] necessary to protect the integrity of the central business district, and keep illegal activity from occurring in that location," Curp added.

The two sides were in court over this matter on Thursday.  No decision was made.  Until the court orders them to close, they can stay open and operate as a bar, says Curp.

We've left messages seeking comment with the nightclub, but have not heard back yet.  We spoke with the nightclub's attorney, Lou Sirkin, he said his clients aren't willing to talk, but the business is open.

On the Diamond Palace Nightclub Facebook page, this was posted in response to the allegations:

Hello Cincinnati & All others!

We want to take a moment and address the following;

1) Dancers- People came in an socially danced, they were at no time compensated by the venue.

2) Deplorable Conditions- Upon inspection a bottle that was out of use that had not been used since the opening of the club did have a fruit fly in it, we are not making an excuse for it. Out of 300 plus bottles we should have had zero issues but we have taken steps to ensure not even an out of service bottle has any issues. Condensation (water) was in the bottom of a cooler less then an inch, we have turned the temperature up so that the cooler does not sweet.

3) We did have a hearing today and will remain open. We will work with the city.

4) We will not have "Go-Go" dancers of any type. For bars who do watch out, they are building cases.

To our supporters and our haters; We love you both and shall rise.

Thank you!

In the court filing, the Cincinnati Police Department asked that one of the suit's defendants, Robert Griffin, take action and address some of the activity going on.  The paperwork says a Memorandum of Understanding was never signed by Griffin.

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