In the Southside space formerly known as Club Freestyle – and to the Fort Worth Police Department as “Club Free-For-All” – 29-year-old first-time club owner LaCresha Thompson has just opened Mesmerize.
Now all she has to do is make sure everyone knows that her club has absolutely nothing to do with Free-For-All, er, Freestyle.
One cop told me how every weekend, officers had to respond to calls at Freestyle, for shots fired, assaults, and drug dealing, among other criminal activities. The club, which was open for a couple years before closing a few months ago, ran afoul of the TABC only once, for serving alcohol after hours. But the place was still one of the scariest addresses in North Texas.
Thompson is determined to separate her club from its predecessor. “The way Freestyle was run, nobody wants that around their house,” she said. “I was raised on the South Side, and I’m going to be [at the club] all the time, every day” – an important promise, considering that my FWPD source said that Freestyle’s owner was as rare a sight on the premises as a collar-poppin’ TCU frat boy.
Until Thompson gets her liquor license, the club will remain BYOB. In the meantime, she’ll generate income by renting the room for private parties and, during the afternoons, running the family business, Steele Tax Service, on East Berry Street. Doing taxes for hardworking, predominantly African-American clients, the kind of people, she said, who deserve a nice place to get a cocktail, was one of the things that led her to open Mesmerize.
“I’m going with an older crowd, and I’m going to have off-duty police officers working,” she said. “Freestyle was 18 and up. I’m doing 21 and up, so it’s culturally going to be different.
“You still have some 21-year-olds that act like they’re 18, but you have to use judgment as to who to let in,” she continued. “I’m just not going to put up with a lot of mess. … My tax customers are a different crowd, and it’d be nice for them to have an upscale club in ‘the ‘hood.’ “
I know, I know. The phrase “all-nude strip club” is bound to get you thinking of all of the seedy, windowless joints on the feeder roads in the sticks. But a chain of classy (relatively speaking) all-nude establishments called Jaguar’s Gold Club will be opening a location here, some time before Valentine’s Day, according to Jaguar’s management.
The other cities where the chain has a presence include Abilene, El Paso, Lubbock, Odessa, and Dallas.
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