When Sidelines, the only local LGBT sports bar, closed down in Wilton Manors it left a gaping hole in the city’s nightlife. Enter Sean David, a prominent business owner who stepped in to open up another sports bar in its place called BALLZ in January 0f 2017.
From almost the conception of the joint David felt singled out and harassed by the city. Why? Because David owns Le Boy, a strip club in Fort Lauderdale, and he claims city officials were worried he was going to pull a bait and switch on them: open up a sports bar and in three months turn it into a strip club.
Three months later he closed the bar down because of the alleged continued harassment from the city and nightly visits from the police.
Now David plans on filing a federal lawsuit charging officials in the city of Wilton Manors with orchestrating a plan to stop him from opening a similar type bar in their city.
SFGN obtained a copy of the lawsuit from David’s attorney George Castrataro. In the suit he asks for damages and an injunction for declaratory relief, seeking a ruling that the city acted arbitrarily and capriciously, while denying David’s proposed bar due process.
“David was told do not try to put a male go-go bar on Wilton Drive. It will get shut down,” Castrataro said. The lawsuit claims that “By their actions, the Defendants made it very difficult and otherwise delayed a straightforward permitting process for over four months.”
Castrataro claimed he has served the city with a copy of the lawsuit to give them room to “negotiate” but SFGN confirmed at press time neither the mayor, risk manager or its lawyers had seen or heard of the allegations yet. They could not comment on the claims.
Castrataro explained it may be filed tomorrow, but as of today, there is no open court case, just the promise of one.
SFGN will update the story as it unfolds.