The Fox, Victoria's last strip club, shuts down
Victoria's last remaining strip club has closed its doors.
In an announcement posted to Facebook Monday evening, the Fox Showroom Pub said "for reasons beyond our control, we are sorry to announce the permanent closure of The Fox," adding, "it's an unfortunate sign of the times."
The reason for the closure is seemingly financial. Sources who are friends with staff who worked at The Fox said employees were told about the sudden closure through a text message, and said that the pub has been struggling financially for some time.
Both the general manager of the pub and the owner of the Red Lion Inn & Suites, which the pub leased space from, cited it as a “business decision" with the GM saying it happened sooner than he thought.
In a follow-up post addressing dancers who worked at the club, the Fox said "It's going to be okay. Please take with you some of the morals that I tried to instill at The Fox. No one has to touch you. If someone says otherwise, they are wrong."
Exotic dancers who have worked at the gentlemen’s club say it was well-run and rules were enforced.
“It was honestly home," said Nia Nebula, an exotic entertainer. “You walk though those doors and you get a big bear hug from the bartender and the DJs.”
The sudden closure has left people without jobs.
“What’s going to come out of this is that now we have less space available but we still have the same amount of workers,” said Nebula. “Everyone is going to have one less amazing location to travel to and that’s just heartbreaking.”
Not everyone is upset by the shutdown. The pub and industry in the city have a colourful past.
"They were very popular initially but it’s like any kind of fad...after a while it loses its appeal," said local historian Glen Mofford.
Some people in the area were happy to see it go, including those who work nearby, and said they’re hoping there will be less of a police presence around the pub.
"They were a step above so they will be remembered as an interesting part of our social history," said Mofford. "I won’t miss it and I don’t think other people will either."
The Red Lion Inn & Suites is now looking for new tenants for its basement space.
The hotel wants to appeal to tourists and owners and said it is looking for something more family-friendly.