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Strip club to go burlesque as drop-off in lap dancing revealed; Bid to attract female customers is turnaround for the one-time 'lap-dancing capital of Britain'.

Byline: Graeme Brown Head of Business graeme.brown@trinitymirror.com

ABIRMINGHAM strip club is hoping to cover up - slightly - as it revealed it was set to relaunch as a burlesque venue to attract more female customers.

Medusa, which is set to close its Suffolk Street Queensway venue, will re-open as Medusa Lodge in nearby Hurst Street in February, and focus on the flourishing burlesque market. Owner Cas Carrington said she was keen to attract more women to the new venue with the trend moving away from traditional lap dancing.

The venue, in the city's gay quarter, will be decorated in 1920s style, with black velvet and purple glass.

Ms Carrington said she wanted half the clientele at the Medusa Lodge to be women.

She said: "We are going to focus a lot more on burlesque. I think a lot of people are getting a bit bored of lap dancing.

"We want it to be a place that everyone feels they want to come to.

"We have noticed it more and more over the years. I have a club in Stratford-on-Avon and female A clientele is 50 per cent.

"They feel safe there. They can come in, have a drink, listen to the music and not be chatted up.

"This is a bar nightclub really, aimed at older people in the city."

Medusa bosses were forced into the move after owners of the current base announced it would be turned into a restaurant as part of a wider scheme above it which has created new student flats.

The new venue, at the old Route 2 club, will be focused at over-25s and will open between 8pm and 6am.

But, while clothes will always be worn on the main stage area, Medusa will still offer lap dancing in more discreet parts of the club.

Ms Carrington, said the change of focus follows less of the current Medusa's income deriving from paid dances.

The move represents something of a turnaround for Birmingham, once dubbed the "UK's lap-dancing capital", when as many as 12 clubs operated in the city.

Ms Carrington said: "I have been looking at the takings of late and it is about 50-50 between the bar and dance now.

"That is a massive change from a few years ago."

Carl Moore, of Can Risk Management, who heads up licensing for Medusa, said the response in the gay quarter had been positive.

"We are not offending anyone - we get on well with everyone there and there has been lots of support from businesses and the business improvement district," he said.

"They know that building has been derelict for a very long time.

"In truth, it has largely been empty since about 2000."

Plans to change the current Medusa, which is expected to close next August, come amid Birmingham Properties Group's work on Kensington House, a student block with 126 studios and six apartments. The restaurant operator is not yet known.

Comment: Page 30

I think a lot of people are getting a bit bored of lap dancingMedusa boss Cas Carrington

CAPTION(S):

The plans for the new Medusa Lodge, where lap dancing will <Btake a more discreet back seat in a bid to attract more women

The current Medusa club in <BKensington House will close

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 5, 2015
Words:543
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