Cabaret strip bar Club Rouge fails in licence bid

Protests have previously been made at Club Rouge on Lothian Road. Picture: Toby Williams

Protests have previously been made at Club Rouge on Lothian Road. Picture: Toby Williams

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A STRIP club that expanded into cabaret performances and life art classes has failed in a landmark bid for a late drinks licence.

Club Rouge on Lothian Road – previously known as Sapphire Rooms – claims to be the only lap-dancing bar in the city that does not require its dancers to fully undress and has made efforts to diversify into non-adult entertainment offerings over the last 18 months.

At a licensing hearing yesterday, club bosses pleaded to be allowed a 3am drinking permit, arguing its entertainment base had widened beyond exotic dancing and should not be confined to the standard 1am closing policy in place for Edinburgh strip clubs.

However, licensing chiefs were unconvinced by the argument and turned down the application.

Councillor Gavin Barrie noted that the club’s website failed to advertise “a lot of diversity” beyond adult entertainment.

Club Rouge bosses suggested the website had not been recently updated.

A spokesman said the club had stopped “full strip teases” since August and it was now a venue “where couples can go and where businessmen can take their clients – something that every other city in the world would have”.