Man operates strip club in his basement

Jay Thunderbolt owns a Detroit strip club. In his basement. He runs the whole thing himself, and makes sure that Club Thunderbolt is open 24/7, by appointment. From the Metro Times:
 Sb 163835 25 Ac Strip There's no cover charge. Customers can order different strippers out of the company catalog -- a photo album full of seedy-looking Polaroids. Each page features one of his strippers in three poses -- bent over, spread eagle and come hither. There are dozens of girls to choose from.  

Thunderbolt doesn't need a cabaret license like other Detroit strip clubs must have. The city ordinance regulating other places doesn't apply, because it's not a bar serving liquor or food, but rather a private arrangement in a private home. To him it's like having a strip-o-gram sent to your own house...

The club's main room, at the back of the house, looks like a Northern Michigan lodge decorated in the 1970s. The walls are fake wood paneling. The aged carpet is greenish-brown. The seating is an old, thick, sectional couch. A single bed rests suggestively in a corner. An ancient stereo receiver and 8-track tape player sit on a table. A few shotgun shells are lined up along its edge, incongruously. A patron's first visit is an eye-opener. "Usually everybody is shocked," Thunderbolt says, "but I've been in AmVet halls smaller than this."

Before every night's show, customers are given the same introduction. "Listen up," Thunderbolt announces to the room. "These are the rules: There's no licking, sticking, biting or slapping. Can't hurt the girls, gentlemen. Be good to the girls, they'll be good to you. It's 10 dollars a dance with the g-string on, 20 dollars with the g-string off. OK? It's lap dance time..."

He has had the club in several different houses, mostly on the east side. Every time he moves to a new one, he goes door-to-door to explain what's coming to the neighborhood.

"I tell everybody, 'This is what I'm gonna do. Don't be freakin' out.' I have to because the girls put a shitload of cars on the street, but I keep the grass cut, I pay the bills." 

"Nothing but a G-string" (Thanks, Heather Sparks!)


  1. I’m writing the movie script right now. Heads up Hollywood, nothing like shag carpet, hedonism, flaky people, and naked girls to light up the silver screen.

  2. There used to be a place, called La Strip! across Yonge Street from the Eaton’s Centre, that operated on the same basis. The retired strippers who owned the place discovered that the only rules about what you could take off were in the Ontario Liquor Control Board regulations. So they put in a pop-machine, didn’t serve booze and could do what they wanted.

    Eventually the Puritans down at City Hall got them on some candy-ass, minor bylaw infraction and closed them down. Too bad because it was just about the only place that ever treated the performers as human beings: which was perhaps the true motivation for closing it down. A minor example of the games the average Strip Joint plays today is the Strippers Union demand that they stop putting in coin-operated lockers in the dressing room and just put in normal lockers that you can put your own lock on.

  3. It’s things like this that make me proud of Detroit… I don’t care what NBC says, Detroit is still cool. Still, that couch looks pretty gross.

    1. You know it DJBudSonic. I kind of just want to see this place. Haven’t been to a strip club in years, but sounds like one of those experiences one just must have.

  4. When I was househunting I saw a house with a room like this. The rest of the house was basically OK, but it had this home-porn-studio room with that same paneling and bad carpet. It was every bad cliche about home porn rooms. Oh yeah, there was a swing. I’m sure the neighbors were happy to see those owners go.

  5. Starring: Christopher Walken, Steve Buscemi, Robert Downey Jr, and Kirsten Dunst

    Directed by: Joel and Ethan Cohen

    Tagline: “No Shirts, No Shoes, No Problem”

  6. In a European country, he would have opened a brothel.

    Strip clubs are an artifact of our repressive (by First World standards) laws about sex work.

    1. Pretty sure most European countries don’t have legalized prostitution. At least, not nationwide.

      There’s a county in Nevada that allows it, for example.

      1. Prostitution is legal in pretty much the entirety of Western Europe. The biggest variation is whether brothels are legal (Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, etc), or illegal (France, UK, etc).

        And yeah, nationwide. The crazy-quilt of hugely varying state/local laws more of a US thing.

  7. Heck is’nt this just stealing an idea from “The Family Guy”? Detroit is definitely moving more upscale from the 80’s.

  8. Prostitution isn’t just legal in one county in Nevada, it’s every county except Clark (Las Vegas), Washoe (Reno), and Carson City. Drive through rural Nevada and sometimes the brothels will be the biggest advertisers in an area.

  9. No. William H. Macy. Walken plays his neighbor who’s divorce party is hosted in Macy’s basement. Walken newly bachelorized again convinces Macy, a life long timid bachelor (Has he even ever had sex?) to open a strip club in his basement so Walken can live it up. Hilarity ensues as the business takes off.

    Instant hit.

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