The county liquor inspector will ask the Liquor Board tonight to punish the owners of a north Laurel restaurant because female dancers there allegedly exposed private body parts and allowed male customers to touch them and stuff money into their scanty costumes.
Detective Michael J. Sherman, the liquor inspector, wants the board to suspend or revoke the liquor license of Good Guys Bar and Grill, or fine the owners for allowing dancers to expose their buttocks and other body parts during performances in October and November.
If the board finds the bar's owners guilty, it could fine them $1,000 for each violation in addition to revoking or suspending their liquor license.
During a 6:15 p.m. performance Oct. 9, a dancer exposed and massaged herself and allowed herself to be touched by male customers, Detective Sherman said.
A male customer got on the stage during a 4 p.m. performance Oct. 23 and kissed a dancer on the stomach, Detective Sherman said. Afterward, two other customers came up on the stage and put money in a dancer's costume.
In at least two of the instances, the restaurant's former general manager was present and in a position to see the performances, Detective Sherman said.
Liquor Board regulations require performers to cover their breasts, buttocks and genital areas. The regulations forbid customers from touching performers or putting money in their costumes.
Upon learning of Detective Sherman's allegations, Benham Zangenah, the restaurant's primary owner, fired general manager Albert Kleuver and issued an edict that from now on, dancers will wear shorts.
Mr. Zangenah owns a Washington restaurant that features topless women dancers, but Howard County does not allow them.
Good Guys is the only bar and restaurant in the county where scantily clad dancers entertain customers.
Prior to the allegations, Thomas M. Meachum, attorney for Mr. Zangenah, described the dancers as bikini-clad women who "move around in an athletic fashion on a platform during lunch and dinner."
Mr. Zangenah has never had a liquor violation in 20 years in the restaurant and bar business, Mr. Meachum told the board when Mr. Zangenah applied for the license on June 18, 1991.
The County Council, sitting as the Liquor Board, granted Mr. Zangenah's request by a 3-2 vote on July 26, 1991.
Council Chairwoman Shane Pendergrass, D-1st, who represents the district in which the restaurant is located, voted with Councilmen Charles C. Feaga, R-5th, and C. Vernon Gray, D-3rd, to grant the license. Councilmen Darrel Drown, R-2nd, and Paul R. Farragut, D-4th, voted against granting it.
Ms. Pendergrass attached a statement to her decision saying she does "not condone the exploitation of women or men."
Since "the applicant's unrebutted sworn testimony indicates that dancers will comply with the law in Howard County, it would not be proper for the board to assume otherwise," Ms. Pendergrass said at the time.