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Photos at Thee Southern Belle on Untappd with tap list, checkins, ratings and more. Welcome to GoodFellas Cabaret, (formerly Thee Southern Belle) Charleston, South Carolina's premier gentlemen's club. We have been voted best in adult entertainment 19 years running by the Charleston City Paper. The Strip Club has over 10, square feet and Thee Southern Belle Lounge is open til 4 a.m. with fully. Read 10 tips and reviews from visitors about catfish, good for groups and stew. "Limited Tickets available for Chippendales Euro Tour Men of Cuffs ".

Photos by Mike Ledford. Jeff foster, general manager of thee southern belle, and megan lund operate carpe noctum presents, hosting live music and other events at the club. On a small platform in the center of Thee Southern Belle, a woman skillfully sways against a pole. The metal post is much taller than the stage is wide. Her shirt — if you can even call it that — is pulled up over her breasts, and she's doing her best to seduce the inanimate object, along with the one man who's come over to watch her.

A local strip club adapts to a changing economy

Another woman in jeans and a white jacket walks up to the stage, nonchalantly tosses a bill down, and walks away, hoping to start the pot. It's a little before 9 p. The best this dancer can get right now is a few bucks. As the song playing over the loudspeakers comes to an end, she picks up her earnings and climbs off the stage. Within a minute, another girl has taken her place. A couple of guys are watching the new dancer, but most of the people in the Belle — both men and women — are barely paying attention.

They're sitting at high-top tables or on one of the couches against the walls, drinking the beers that they bought from Gentlemen's Quarters, the bar next door, or that they brought themselves, which they can do under the club's BYOB policy. They're smoking cigarettes indoors, a rare luxury these days afforded to North Charleston bars.

A petite blonde is taking her turn at the pole.

She makes her way up to the ceiling and elegantly spins back down. Even if you're not aroused, you can't help but be impressed. Tonight's featured performer isn't a dancer. It's not a woman in a G-string and an easily removable bra. It's a year-old white rapper from Florida named Bubba Sparxxx.

And, most likely, he's going to keep his clothes on. Bubba Sparxxx finally comes out with his posse, and the crowd surges in toward the main stage. Midway through his set, Sparxxx brings a group of the Belle girls on to the stage.

And, most likely, he's going to keep his clothes on. The recession hit Charleston everywhere, from King Street all the way to North Meeting Street, in that hazy Thee Southern Belle Charleston Sc Website of the peninsula that's not quite downtown and not quite North Charleston, where Thee Southern Belle is located.

When the economic collapse began init meant that people had to be much more careful with their money. And while once strip club customers were happily willing to drop some cash on a topless flirtation, they can no longer be so frivolous with their dollars. And as is the case with any other business, the Belle has had to find new ways to adapt to the still-changing economy. While they may have lost a certain amount of their customer base during the downturn, the club now hosts events not traditionally expected at strip clubs: On a quiet afternoon, Thee Southern Belle general manager Jeff Foster sits in the same room at a table top.

It's mid-day and the club won't be open for a few more hours. The lights are on, but it's still dark in the windowless building.

Happy Hours

The space — composed of velvet furniture, two stages, and, of course, more than a couple of poles — seems much larger without its usual customers. The Belle opened inand Foster came on board eight months later. It started as a part-time job to help out a friend. His dad's the kind of guy who can tell you a story about a shoplifting hooker but will then ask you to "pardon his French" when he uses the term "pissed off. I guess it's the stigma that it's dirty, that it's a trashy place," Foster says.

Sissy Quinn and Southern Charm

The Belle lives on its late-night crowd, on food and beverage people who aren't ready to go home after their closing shifts, since it's open until 5 a. And it's not just men — Foster says they see a ratio of men to women.

But, he adds, "If downtown doesn't do well, then we don't do well late night, Thee Southern Belle Charleston Sc Website then the bartenders and people don't have the cash or the tips to throw away.

Before the recession, weekdays were always steady, and the weekends were gravy. Now the Belle's getting half the crowds it used to on Fridays or Saturdays, and they might see only a handful on weeknights. The club is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Thee Southern Belle Charleston Sc Website knew he needed to mix it up. He could bring in featured dancers, centerfolds, and porn stars. But all the other clubs do that. So the Belle started advertising "late-night parties. He also started bringing in live music.

Fortunately, he had a background in booking: Foster was on his college's activities board and worked for years at the Music Farm back at its visit web page East Bay Street location.

He figured it would be a good idea to get back into it. With the Belle's bread and butter normally coming in late, they can book a band early on to get the crowd in at an otherwise slow time. And they'll be able to keep a few of them around for later, which can double or triple their normal capacity. He's had local bands, like Souls Harbor and Dante's Camaro, perform at the club. The guys in Dante's Camaro, which features City Paper columnist Jack Hunter on guitar, were particularly appreciative.

Thee Southern Belle Charleston Sc Website

It was titillating," says Ben Thee Southern Belle Charleston Sc Website, the group's trash-talking asshole frontman and the co-host of Southern Sports Now on It was the cherry on top. Now, with help from Knight Booking, the Belle is getting on a national touring circuit. The first big show was Saliva, which was a sell-out. The club can normally hold people. In preparation for a show, the venue will take out the poles and use the larger stage for the band, which Foster built kits for to expand its width on both sides.

He lets the girls dance on the center stage; the sound guys love it, since that's where they're set up. Saliva had such a blast they told their promoter it was one of their best shows in three years of touring. Besides Bubba Sparxxx, Foster has booked the Genitorturers, a sexcapades-themed band with a cult following that he says worked really well in the strip-club environment.

It brought in people. He'll host Drowning Pool on April There were dancers before and during the Bubba Sparxxx click at this page, which took place on a Saturday. However, though the club advertises fully nude women, while I was there, the dancers were only topless. Foster has a history with comedian Tim Kidd, who approached the club and performed at the Belle this past August.

They've also hosted Shaun Jones and Just June. And to clarify once again: There are no girls these nights. So even if you're wary of coming out when they're hosting a musical act, you will not see dancers during the comedy shows. At first, the comedians brought in 25 to 30 people.

Bubba Sparxxx finally comes out with his posse, and the crowd surges in toward the main stage. And word got out. But, he adds, "If downtown doesn't do well, then we don't do well late night, because then the bartenders and people don't have the cash or the tips to throw away. It brought in about people. He got cheap tickets for the show from a friend of a friend of a friend that used to work at the Belle.

Now they can get up to 75 or No matter how big or small the numbers, it's still business on a night that the Belle normally wouldn't even be open. Meanwhile, Diamonds North has had drag shows and tattoo competitions. You've got to take two or three times to do the comedy, two or three times to do the concerts, to build it up to where people understand, 'OK, hey, it's not a strip club. It's a place to go out — an read more complex.

For some of the Thee Southern Belle Charleston Sc Website events, like the Bubba Sparxxx show, Foster has partnered with his friend Megan Lund, and they now host concerts and parties with their promotion company Carpe Noctem Presents. The phrase, which Lund has tattooed on her wrist, means seize the night. You can only get drunk so many times.

It was redundant," she says. They'd pick a local bar to go to, spread the word, and head there for the night. They'd get kind of wild, and the wilder they got the more people wanted to come out. She started doing theme parties, with names like "the Glorious Absence of Sophistication. On the flyers and in ads, they made sure to emphasize that it had nothing to do with the Belle; the club was just a venue that Carpe Noctem rented out, and the night was stripper-free.

Thee Southern Belle Charleston Sc Website

Yet from an event planner's perspective, the Belle has a lot of benefits that most people don't recognize. She thinks the location is killer, explaining that it's downtown but not really "downtown. The space itself is big, and the bands who have performed there have raved about the sound. And Lund gets to treat the Belle like a blank canvas. She doesn't get full access, but Foster gives her the creative freedom to do almost whatever she likes, something that she loves.

Cover up the dance room so you can have a photography booth. The night was a benefit for Darkness to Light, a local organization that spreads awareness to prevent child sexual abuse. It brought in about people. And word link out. While a couple of these special events have only broken even, not a single one has lost the Belle money.

It's not a strip club these nights. It's time to have some fun. A nu-metal band plays first, pumping up the audience of about A local rap group is next, but people are really just waiting for the main act. The now-lonely pole stands tall at the center Thee Southern Belle Charleston Sc Website the room, bare of its usual dance partner. There's learn more here than a handful of the girls around, scoping out the crowd or huddling Thee Southern Belle Charleston Sc Website hoodies while they wait to be noticed.