Strip club sign removed from Fulton Industrial Blvd.

The “Riley s Nude Showbar” sign on Fulton Industrial Boulevard has been taken down in lieu of a county charge to the owners. “The Riley s signage served as an old vestige of Fulton Industrial s deterioration into a strip of cheap hotels with a high rate of prostitution and criminal activity,” the county said.

Fulton County has bounced an eye-catching sign from Fulton Industrial Boulevard.

The faded pink “Riley’s Nude Showbar” sign, with a woman in a martini glass that once advertised a now-closed strip club, was a constant reminder to the 25,000 drivers who commute along the corridor every day of what officials don’t want to area to represent.

The “eyesore” was taken down in lieu of the property owners being charged with a misdemeanor county offense of having a “non-conforming sign,” according to a news release from the county solicitor general’s office. As part of the plea deal, the charges were dropped.

“The Riley’s signage served as an old vestige of Fulton Industrial’s deterioration into a strip of cheap hotels with a high rate of prostitution and criminal activity,” according to the news release.

The club closed in October 2018, said James Cline, the Roswell attorney who represents Riley’s. That was two months after a Fulton County court ordered the company that owns Riley’s, Ceeda Enterprises, to pay $27 million to a grieving family.

The company was found to have violated the Georgia Dram Shop Act because it didn't check ID before serving 20-year-old Shanieca Waters — who on March 28, 2016 ran a red light at Mableton Parkway and Lee Industrial Boulevard and crashed into a car, injuring two people and killing one.

In July 2018, Waters was found guilty of vehicular homicide for the death of 51-year-old Pamela Sitton, a mother of two. Waters, of Mableton, was sentenced in Cobb County to 15 years in prison.

Cline said the verdict wasn’t the only reason Ceeda shut the club down, adding that there were also issues with the landlord.

The company, which first registered with the state in 1979, did close the business — but the decades-old sign remained. The officials of Atlanta have a long history of publicly chastising the area's vibrant strip club culture.

Cline said the county and the Community Improvement District have never liked the sign. “The county has been wanting to do that for a long time.”

The business wasn’t allowed to alter the sign for fear of breaking a grandfather clause that let it stay up, he said.

Municipalities have used plenty of tools to keep clubs under wraps. For instance, the city of Atlanta has created so many zoning regulations that it has been impossible to open new strip clubs.

But the party might not be totally over. Though it’s been closed for a year and a half, Cline said someone could buy the company and open a strip club back up.

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