To some in Canoga Park, the Xposed Gentlemen’s Club is an unwelcome neighborhood landmark.
Residents complain about its sultry billboards featuring scantily clad women. The LAPD tried — and failed — to shut it down, citing complaints of violence, prostitution and drug use. There was a shooting in the parking lot last year; a man’s throat was slit in the club a few years back.
But the strip club has survived, and its management has made an unusual move — seeking seats on the very same neighborhood council that has been a forum for complaints about it.
The owner and two employees of the club ran for seats on the council last month, and one was elected. Club owner Brad Barnes, a former Chippendales dancer who worked for years as an adult film star under the name “Brick Majors,” lost. But in the coming weeks, the council will vote on his request to be appointed to the board, which advises City Hall on local issues.
The effort has been the talk of Canoga Park, a working-class suburb in the west San Fernando Valley, with some residents complaining that the strip club is trying to co-opt the very civic body designed to give neighborhoods a voice about issues such as the problems posed by businesses.
The controversy highlights a problem that has plagued the council system almost since its inception: the role of businesses and special interest groups in influencing the panels.