Cheetah strip club passes into a family trust after owner dies

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The Cheetah, located at 887 Spring Street in Atlanta, looking toward downtown. (RICH ADDICKS/AJC staff)
The Cheetah, located at 887 Spring Street in Atlanta, looking toward downtown. (RICH ADDICKS/AJC staff)

Bill Hagood, the longtime owner of a storied Atlanta strip club and restaurant, has died, leaving behind a piece of property developers have long waved handfuls of cash at.

The Cheetah is in a trust left to family members who will continue operating it, said Hagood’s club manager and trust partner Jack Braglia. Hagood died Oct. 27.

“His plans in his estate were to continue to run the business as long as it’s feasible to allow his children to make some money and have income and, eventually, when time is right, to sell it," Braglia told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The low, windowless beige building at the corner of 8th and Spring streets in Midtown, across I-75/85 from Georgia Tech, is on prime property. It has seen high-rise apartments and tech-company towers rise around it, such as NCR’s new global headquarters across the street. The one-acre-plus site, which incorporates the high-end restaurant Alluvia, has garnered multi-million dollar offers, according to news reports.

Without providing details, Braglia said there have been calls and offers on the property since he went to work for Hagood more than 30 years ago, and one offer fell through earlier this year.

Hagood, who was in his 80s, died in California where he was being treated for heart problems, Braglia said.

The Cheetah has operated for nearly 40 years at different locations in Atlanta. It has faced many challenges that could have closed it down or hampered business, including ordinances and a state law targeting adult entertainment venues. It successfully fought an ordinance to ban dancers under 21, and settled a lawsuit brought by dancers who wanted to be recognized as employees rather than contract workers.

Land prices in Midtown are holding up, despite the pandemic, said Gene Kansas, founder of a eponymous real estate brokerage and development firm. He said property in the area is selling at $15 to $25 million an acre, depending on zoning, location and other issues.

“There’s been lots of interest over the years,” said Kansas, who knew Hagood. “People have been talking about that property forever.”

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