All manner of “non-essential” businesses are struggling for survival amid the coronavirus shutdown. But sex workers, in particular, are falling through the cracks in pandemic assistance programs worldwide.
To keep its business afloat and keep dancers (and bartenders, cooks, bouncers, et cetera) on payroll, a strip club in Portland, Oregon, called Lucky Devil Lounge is offering drive-thru dances. Customers order food in the club parking lot and pull into a tent, where four strippers entertain them in short-shorts, pasties, masks and gloves while their meal is cooked.
“You pull in and you get one or two songs with the gogos, then we bring your food out to you and then you go on your way,” Lucky Devil Lounge owner Shon Boulden explained in a video report by The Oregonian.
Drive-thru admission is $30 per car, $10 for each additional passenger and you’re required to order food. Boulden dubbed the endeavor “Food 2 Go-Go.”
The drive-thru experience is Lucky Devil Lounge’s second stay-open endeavor. The club also offers a stripper food delivery service, which was dubbed “Boober Eats” until Uber sent them a cease-and-desist letter. The venture has been rebranded as “Lucky Devil Eats.”
Other strip clubs around the country have also gotten creative amid the pandemic. Little Darlings in Las Vegas, Nevada, hoped to open a similar drive-thru peep show in March, but the state’s stay-at-home order, closing non-essential businesses, put the plan on hold.
A "wholesome" strip club in New York City, meanwhile, went the virtual route, offering free VR lap dances during quarantine. “People need human connection and need to be entertained,” Die Happy Tonight (DHT) founder Kalin Moon told The New York Post. “VR is a great way to accomplish this from the safety of your own home.”
Lucky Devil Lounge is skirting Oregon’s stay-at-home orders by operating as a restaurant, basically, but with an 18-and-over twist. Keeping so many employees working — in a safe environment, notably — is some ingenuity to be proud of.
“Every small business is feeling this pain, the same hurt, and we’re just another small business,” Boulden told The Oregonian. “We’ve just been able to create this niche and it worked.”