According to a report this week from TMZ, Grammy award-winning rapper Ludacris was doing a little rainmaking in a West Midtown strip club this week.
The celebrity news website said Ludacris, whose real name is Chris Bridges, was at the "premiere gentleman's club" Diamonds of Atlanta on Wednesday night when he “dropped in excess of $10,000” on dancers.
Pictures here show the rapper littering the stage with thousands of dollar bills as bikini-clad dancers adorn the poles. One shot depicts Ludacris propping a bottle of Conjure Cognac, the brand he co-founded three years ago, on a tray of stacked one dollar bills.
According to TMZ, Ludacris, who early this year closed his Midtown eatery Straits Atlanta, was at the club with a posse including girlfriend Eudoxie, singer Monica, rapper Lil Scrappy and DJ Infamous.
The 10 grand dropped paled in comparison to the $37,000 that rapper Fabolous and comedian-actor Kevin Hart rained on dancers during a mid-March party at the club tossed by local radio personality Kenny Burns.
Last month, five people, including four female employees, were robbed after leaving the strip club, located a 1271 Marietta Boulevard. The victims had parked their cars on nearby Elaine Avenue and that’s where they were accosted by two suspects, who robbed them of cell phones, wallets, money and car keys.
Surrounding neighbors and businesses have become increasingly frustrated with the "criminal" activity surrounding the club and outside behavior of its patrons. The club only opened in March after the location had been home to previous strip clubs such as “Body Tap” and “Whispers Gentleman's Club."
One West Midtown resident wrote to Patch that there had been an “increase of home and car break-ins” during the previous clubs' heyday. In an email, the resident, who wished not to be identified, wrote: “There have been numerous incidents since Diamonds opened a couple of months ago. Everything from public urination on private property on both residences and businesses alike, traffic congestion along Huff Road, parking violations up and down Elaine, noise, damage to property including outdoor lighting and illegal parking in businesses."
Residents of the Huff Heights and M-West townhome communities want to make sure that recent club issues don’t escalate. There has been discussion to rezone the club to another class of business that can't sell liquor, therefore never allowing that spot to be operated as a strip club or any other sort of club again.
The homeowners association at Huff Heights released the following to residents last month:
As many of you may recall the old strip club on Marietta Blvd was the source of quite a lot of neighbor complaints to police as well as a source of criminal activity (arson, shootings, prostitution, etc). The prior owners operated the club under a couple names, "Body Tap" & "Whispers Gentleman's Club" being the most recent. Now the new owner, operating under the name "Diamond Club," has become the source of many problems to the nearby home owners at Huff Heights & M-West as well as neighboring businesses. When this new owner came before our NPU to ask for our approval for his liquor license application, (which we did not approve) he stated he had no prior experience operating a club. His past experience was as a restaurant chef. He assured us that he would make sure all the issues caused by the former owner & his clientele would be addressed and he would be a good neighbor. Sadly for the nearby residents, that has not proved to be the case.
In short, there has been ongoing out of control noise, traffic congestion along Huff Rd. and Marietta Blvd., illegal parking along the adjacent properties (Huff Heights, M-West, and the businesses on Huff Rd), loitering, public drunkenness, vandalism to property (Huff Heights owners have had to fix several landscaping lights), debris and trash, as well as public urination along the properties on Huff Rd/Ellsworth, trespassing issues (they have had to run people off of their properties).