Carlos Bickers, owner of B3 Bar and Grill in Austell, poses with some of the Clermont Lounge's exotic dancers Feb. 26, 2017. They were at B3 for a car wash fundraiser while the iconic Atlanta dive bar undergoes longer-than-expected renovations.
Photo: B3 Bar and Grill/Josh Pruitt
Photo: B3 Bar and Grill/Josh Pruitt

Clermont Lounge dancers start GoFundMe as renovation delays pause pay

Ten of the Clermont Lounge’s strapped-for-cash dancers spent Sunday washing cars at a Cobb County biker bar for extra money. But it wasn’t enough; the hard work continues.

The revamping of their iconic Atlanta club has taken longer than expected, and their nest eggs are depleted.

They made $1,100 from washing cars at a Cobb County bar Sunday and spent a couple of nights putting on a more-PG show at the Star Bar, but it didn’t raise enough for the exotic-dancing staples of Ponce de Leon Avenue. So they’ve turned to GoFundMe for help.

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“Whatever we get in two weeks, we’re going to stop instead of bugging everyone,” said Kathi Martin, owner of the Clermont.

She said GoFundMe provided the goal amount of $5,000, but they’re looking to get any help they can for the women until the bar can open again.

The post asking for donations reads: “In many cases, these women are the sole providers (for their families) and are having a hard time making it through without the income from working at the Clermont Lounge.”

After one day, the campaign has raised more than $750.

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A yearlong project to redevelop the historic Clermont Motor Hotel into an upscale boutique hotel with a “destination restaurant” forced the beloved downstairs dive bar to close around the start of the year

Martin thought the bar would be ready by now and allowed to re-open so the dancers could get back to what they do. But the project has been delayed by the installation of some support beams.

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The Clermont folks prepared to be without pay for a couple months, but its already been longer than that.

Martin said she expects to be able to re-open the first week of April.

That day is set to be a raucous affair with music, giveaways from liquor companies and a limited-edition T-shirt to commemorate the day the party started again.

Until then, they’ll have to keep washing cars. The next one’s set for 

Motorheads Bar & Grill in McDonough on April 1.

Some of the Clermont Lounge's exotic dancers washed cars Feb. 26, 2017, at B3 Bar and Grill in Austell for extra cash because they've been without pay for weeks. The renovation of the iconic Atlanta dive bar has taken longer than expected.
Photo: B3 Bar and Grill/Josh Pruitt

The much-adored Blondie showed up a bit late Sunday to the B3 Bar and Grill in Austell because she’d been out celebrating her 60th birthday the night before.

She soldiered through and washed three or four cars.

And like Blondie, Martin said they’ll make it through these rocky few weeks.

“We’re coming back strong,” she said. 

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