It was billed as a 'soft' opening, but the drinks were flowing and the customers were glowing when Swinging Richards opened its nightclub last Thursday at its new location in Pompano Beach at 1350 Southwest 2nd Street, right off North Andrews Avenue.

Many local bar owners popped in to say hello, including Jackson Padgett and Mark Negrete of the Alibi.

"A gorgeous club, a welcome addition," said Padgett of Richards.

While Sean David, the owner of Johnny's, the local strip club on West Broward Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, which celebrated its 33rd anniversary last week, "It's a beautiful place, and should do very well. The more, the merrier. There is room for everybody in our community to grow.  I wish them the best."

The luxurious facility was once the home of elegant and upscale heterosexual establishments, and Richards has kept the new facility regal, spacious, and inviting.

Its new manager, Roman, who ran Cupid's in West Palm Beach a decade ago, was enthusiastic about the response on Thursday, but Friday and Saturday was even more overwhelming. A group of ten gay men came in for a bachelor party prior to a planned Sunday wedding at Ed Lugo's Guest House.

The place was packed, its 20 foot long rectangular stage lined with dancers offering full nudity.

The club's owner, CB Jones, says this is just the beginning, and hopes to offer fine dining along with stage shows to the clientele, "I think the upscale nature of the club will be attractive to consumers looking for a Las Vegas environment

Of class and prestige. We want to offer the community an upgrade, and we want to reach out to new friends.”