Houston Wins Legal Battle Against Penthouse Club

Nikki Tang
HOUSTON — A yearlong legal battle between the Penthouse Club and the City of Houston ended Wednesday when a court ruled in favor of the city and ordered the club to permanently close its doors.

According to the legal case filings, the Penthouse Club was found to be in violation of the Sexually Oriented Business, or SOB, ordinance, which requires that such businesses must be located at least 1,500 feet from parks, churches, schools and daycare centers.

Prior to its closure, the club was located within 1,500 feet of a private school, the parking lots of a mosque and a church and a residential neighborhood.

The ruling is viewed as a significant victory by supporters of the SOB ordinance, which has been met with numerous challenges since its inception in 1997.

“This is a good day for Houstonians who want to protect the decency of our neighborhoods for families, and also want to say no to those businesses that degrade and exploit women for profit,” Mayor Bill White said. “This has been a long battle.”

The owners of the Penthouse Club have been ordered to pay $42,000 in legal fees to Houston. Upon closure of the establishment, no sexually oriented businesses can ever operate at the location, and other businesses can move in after one year.

Penthouse officials declined comment to XBIZ.