From the June 2011 edition of the Glover Park Gazette:
The potential new owner of JP’s Night Club (2412 Wisconsin Ave.) has been revealed. At a May 11 hearing about the dormant strip club’s liquor license, Brian Petruska was introduced as the would-be buyer of the club. Attorney James Charles, who represents the club’s current owner, says that in the spring of 2010, Petruska signed a contract to buy all of JP’s corporate stock. That contract was contingent upon Petruska’s signing a lease with the owners of the vacant building, which replaced a building gutted by a 2008 fire.
Last fall, Charles says, Petruska walked away from the deal, but later returned to the bargaining table with new conditions, including that the club prevail against two parties now protesting the renewal of its liquor license: the Advisory Neighborhood Commission and a group of neighbors represented by attorney Milton Grossman.
A protest hearing on the license renewal was scheduled for May 25, after our press date. (See the Georgetown Current’s report on the hearing here.) The protesting parties were set to argue that the strip club is no longer appropriate for increasingly kid-centric Glover Park. Charles says the charge is without merit. “The business has been there for 22 years,” he says. “The neighborhood hasn’t changed as far as I can see. There are no new schools, libraries, or churches.”
But even if the JP’s license survives that challenge, there may be another in store. The license is currently in an escrow-like state called “safekeeping,” and the protesting parties argue that a second protest hearing should be held when the license is removed from safekeeping—that is, when the club’s interior is fully finished and the club is ready to open. According to Charles, Petruska won’t invest in the building’s interior if there’s another protest looming, which means the wrangling could end with a stalemate that would keep JP’s closed.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is expected to rule within three months on the current protests, and within two months on whether a second protest period will be needed. Our efforts to reach Petruska for comment were not successful.