Adult dancers, angry neighbors and a Louisville bar fighting to stay open

The city threatens to shut Planet Bar down

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Adult dancers, undercover cameras and a bar’s battle is playing out off Bardstown Road in the Upper Highlands.

WAVE 3 News’ exclusive Troubleshooter Investigation looks into what’s going on with Planet Bar as the city threatens to shut it down.

The bar owner said she hired an event promoter and that person brought in the dancers. (Source: Metro ABC)
The bar owner said she hired an event promoter and that person brought in the dancers. (Source: Metro ABC)

Undercover video from inside the bar shows a party with adult entertainers getting dollar bills. The problem is -- that’s not allowed there, according to the city’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) officers.

Multiple neighbors have also complained about the noise and the pressure is mounting.

But there’s two sides to this story. The owner of Planet Bar, Cathy Wright, said the dancers weren’t a big deal and she’s being targeted for being a lesbian. But her neighbors say it’s just about the noise and the events with adult entertainers.

They want the bar gone.

ABC's undercover video shows women dancing, making money, wearing g-strings and tops.

Wright has now been cited by ABC for breaking the city’s rules on nude or nearly nude activities.

"I wasn't expecting it to be the way it was," Wright said of the events recorded on video.

Cathy Wright owns Planet Bar. She's says her bar is her love. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Cathy Wright owns Planet Bar. She's says her bar is her love. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Wright said she brought in a promoter, who in turn brought in the dancers. They had two events in March and then she told them goodbye.

"I was done with it. That's not the reputation I want for my bar," she said. "My bar is an attractive bar."

Wright said other establishments have hired that same promoter for similar events, and they have not been cited.

She added the women weren't naked.

But ABC cited the bar anyway. The city ordinance spells out what they consider nudity and partial nudity.

"According to ABC their butt was showing, so because their bottoms were hanging out that's nudity. Well, I'm sorry, again, I don't address that as nudity," Wright said.

WAVE 3 News went in with a hidden camera Wednesday. The only thing we saw was a poker game.

But while Wright battles ABC, she is also up against her neighbors who say the music coming from the bar is way too loud.

“People five or six houses down the street were having their windows rattled consistently,” Patrick Carrico, of the Belknap Neighborhood Association, said.

He pointed to the bar’s garage door that remains open.

"We have residents that were chased out of their own bedrooms," he said of the noise.

Carrico said the events with the dancers can’t be called anything but adult entertainment.

Wright promises those kinds of events are done, she just hopes her bar isn't.

"It's like my love," she said. "It's like having a child that you birth and then you want to see it grow into an adult."

Wright will have a hearing with ABC in August. Meanwhile, the state’s ABC also cited her in September for serving alcohol to a minor, but the state said that’s being resolved.

WAVE 3 News also learned the building is owned by Tom Drexler, of the plumbing company. We found documents where he’s been fined by Codes and Regulations for public nuisance violations.

Drexler said he has nothing to do with any of this, and that a leasing company manages who they lease to.

That leasing company said they don’t have a comment.

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