State health officials shut down a south Scottsdale strip club indefinitely for violating health and safety guidelines related to the pandemic.
The Arizona Department of Health Services issued a closure notice to Skin Cabaret, a strip club on Scottsdale Road south of McDowell Road.
The club also had its liquor license suspended indefinitely.
At the end of August, the state allowed some bars and restaurants to reopen after spread of COVID-19 in Maricopa County reached a “moderate” level.
Like other bars and restaurants that reopened in recent months, Skin Cabaret owner Todd Borowsky had to submit an attestation form to the state agreeing to abide ADHS requirements, including 50 percent occupancy limits, social distancing and masks for all staff and patrons.
ADHS spokesman Steve Elliot said Ski Cabaret was closed as the result of an investigation by the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control that found violations of some of those rules.
Jeffrey Trillo, assistant director of Department of Liquor Licenses and Control said his inspectors observed “lack of social distancing between customers and entertainers, and dancing.”
ADHS is prohibiting dancing or standing around.
“From the ADHS perspective, the establishment failed to enforce physical distancing as required by the Executive Order applying to certain businesses,” Elliot said.
According to the notice, the violations were “jeopardizing the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”
Skin Cabaret owner Todd Borowksy did not respond to a request for comment.
This is not the first time his club has allegedly run afoul of local regulations.
He made headlines in Scottsdale over a decade ago when he waged a successful referendum campaign against changes to the city ordinance regulating strip clubs that banned lap dances and nude performances and prohibited strip clubs from selling alcohol.
“It has been written in a way to directly put us completely out of business,” he said in 2005.
A political action committee backed by Todd Borowsky and the ownership group of Babe’s Cabaret, Scottsdale’s only other strip club, successfully referred the new regulations to voters and raised over $200,000 to support their cause.
The group won a narrow victory in Sept. 2006 when 52 percent of Scottsdale voters rejected the stricter regulations on strip clubs.
Prior to the referendum battle, both clubs were targeted in a sting by Scottsdale Police for running afoul of the existing ordinance, resulting in around 81 criminal citations.
Borowsky eventually pled guilty to two misdemeanors connected to the raid.
The strip club battle was also the first foray into local politics for Todd Borowsky’s sister, mayoral candidate Lisa Borowsky, the East Valley Tribune reported in 2008.
She went on to win a seat on Scottsdale City Council in 2008, served one term is now running against David Ortega in the mayoral election.
“Throughout that process, I had the opportunity to speak to a lot of voters and an overwhelming number of people had the same sentiment that they were dissatisfied with the current council and the way it was being run,” Borowsky told the East Valley Tribune while on the campaign trail in 2008. “As it turns out, my brother’s experience wasn’t that unique.”
Skin Cabaret’s closure comes two months after the state shut down to two Scottsdale bars, Bottled Blonde and Casa Amigos, for similar violations.
Those bars have since been allowed to reopen.
In order to reopen, Skin Cabaret will need approval from the Department of Health Services and undergo a separate review by the Department of Liquor and Control to activate its liquor license.
“Once a liquor license is suspended, the suspension will remain in effect pending proceedings for revocation, suspension, or other action by the Department of Liquor Licenses & Control or until such time as the licensee can demonstrate to the Department’s satisfaction that it is in compliance and will remain in compliance with the Governor’s Executive Orders and the Department statutes referenced in the Suspension Order,” Trillo said.