Last Call: Wednesday, October 6, 2004
Stone Canyon Night Club
114 W Exchange, FW
Stone-Cold Buzz-Killin’

The TABC is to a Saturday night out as a chaperone is to a first date. Always on the look-out for airborne tank tops, bartenders who don’t know when to stop serving clearly hammered folks, and, of course, under-agers all liquored up, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission doesn’t fool around. “If we’ve received a complaint, then we’re going to specifically look for things the complainant has told us about,” said Lt. Karen Smith of Fort Worth’s TABC Enforcement Division. “If there’s a sale to minors going on, we’re going to look for those things as well as any other violation.” Fines can run as steep as $4,000, and there’s also the possibility of jail time, up to a year.

Lately, Fort Worth’s division has been occupied with the goings-on in one particular part of town. With Club Fusion, The Purple Gator, PR’s, and two or three other clubs that on certain nights permit 18-year-olds to enter (but not to drink), the Stockyards makes for quite a juicy target. Some business owners cling tight to the district’s cowboy image and don’t appreciate tattooed and baggy-pants-wearing young’uns — especially all them blacks and browns at Fusion — having too much fun and spilling into the parking lots after closing time. In the Stockyards of old, disagreements were settled by moseying out to duke or draw. Nowadays, people complain to city officials, and before you can say Eminem three times fast, police officers and TABC investigators are raiding clubs (“Officer Unfriendly,” July 28, 2004).

One proprietor just wishes that all the buzz-killers would go away. Paul Lemon, owner of the Stone Canyon Night Club (114 W Exchange Av), has had one too many recent run-ins with the law and is starting to cry foul.

It all goes back to a couple of months ago, when the 21-plus club (18-plus on “College Night” Thursdays) was cited for a wet t-shirt/bikini contest where apparently a few of the all-female contestants had — as they say — gone wild.

“My attorney has told me the way they have the ticket down is ‘running a sex hotel,’” Lemon said. “Apparently Fort Worth has a city ordinance that states that in the historical areas, you’re only allowed to hold an occasional [wet t-shirt/bikini] contest. In that ordinance they do not define ‘occasional.’ I’m fighting it.

“I mean, how do you define occasional sex?” he continued. “I could have sex four times a month, and even if it was on every Thursday night, I think that’s still occasional. Regular sex to me would be like two or three times a week.”

More recently, a couple of Canyon staffers were also tagged with a violation, this time for serving under-agers and serving after-hours. The story, according to a source from the club, involves a presently employed doorman and a previously employed floorman and some under-aged females; word reached the TABC when one of the young ladies, who was upset for some reason, told one of her parents about her big night out on the town. The Canyon workers, according to Lemon, “alleged there was no under-age drinking in the club, that they had served the girls some Red Bull to try and sober them up. But that’s their story versus the TABC’s.”

Wet t-shirt/bikini contests at the Stone Canyon Night Club will remain on hold indefinitely, at least until everything’s cleared up.

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