Houston Topless Club Changes Target Market

Rhett Pardon
HOUSTON – Hoping to capitalize on changing demographics, the original Rick’s Cabaret topless club is being converted into Club Onyx, an upscale venue that is designed to draw in black professionals and athletes.

CEO Eric Langan told XBiz that the black demographic segment has been “a woefully underserved market in Texas and we'll change that overnight.”

The club was completely remodeled, with new sound systems and state-of-the-art lighting.

Langan said Houston has benefited from a broad movement of northern black professionals to the South.

"In Houston, this has been part of what has fueled the redevelopment of downtown and the accompanying rush of interest in urban life,” he said.

Publicly traded Rick's Cabaret International Inc. owns six adult entertainment establishments in Texas and Minnesota that operate under the names Rick's Cabaret and XTC, and now Club Onyx.

The company reported $15.1 million in revenue in 2003.

Its clubs cater to highbrow patrons with plenty of cash (VIP memberships for individual and corporate clients can cost hundreds of dollars annually).

The company also runs Hummers, a sports bar, and owns controlling interest in an adults-only couples bar Encounters, both located in Houston.

In addition to its nightclubs, Rick's operates adult entertainment websites and NaughtyBids.com, an auction site for adult products.

Rick's Cabaret International went public in 1995. Langan joined the company in 1998 and has led it since 1999. He owns nearly 30 percent of the company.

In trading on the Nasdaq Friday, Rick’s stock was up by 1 percent at $2.78.