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Girls Gone Wild At The Lava Lounge

April 2, 2007, 4:28 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Girls Gone Wild At The Lava Lounge
An event at a bar in Sioux Falls that's asking girls to raise their shirts is raising some eyebrows. That's because the bar hosting the event promised the city it would change its image when it changed its name to the Lava Lounge. 

When it was called Coconut Joe's, police responded to 91 calls over a ten month period. But when new owners remodeled the building and changed its name to the Lava Lounge in October, they also told City Council members they would turn the business around. Police have only been called there 23 times in the five months since it's been open, which breaks down to about half the number of calls. 

But this Wednesday a "Girls Gone Wild" film crew is coming to the bar and some believe that will lead to the same problems the bar's had before.

The title of the videos say it all, "Girls Gone Wild." It's a franchise of DVD's and videos of semi-nude girls exposing themselves at bars and parties across the country. And a film crew is coming to the Lava Lounge Wednesday night. The bar's website says the crew is looking for Sioux Falls' hottest ladies. 

City council member Kevin Kavanaugh says, "It disturbs me to think that their version of being a good neighbor brings in Girls Gone Wild film crew it does bother me yes." 

City Council member Kevin Kavanaugh heard the promises the bar's owners made to the council when it made the changes in October 2006. At that time the owners talked of attracting a more mature crowd and said they would be better neighbors than in the past. 

"How are we going to be assured we won't see a reversal from your current program to what we've experienced with Coconut Joes over the last few years?" Council member Gerald Beninga asked Lava Lounge owner Rob Feller back on October 16th, 2006.

Feller replied, "If this format wouldn't work I can guarantee that they would not fall back into the current state of affairs it is now." 

The Lava Lounge owners say they've kept their promise and cleaned up the violence at the bar's location. While city council members recognize the crime-rate has improved, they're still concerned having a "Girl's Gone Wild" film crew at the bar may bring some other issues back to that area of the city.



Kavanaugh says, "We have the issue with the neighbors and that was the problem under the previous management and again if they don't maintain a good policy of being good neighbors we're going to have complaints from the neighbors again." 

KELOLAND News talked to the bar's owner off camera Monday and he said they're using the event to promote a new Wednesday night Ladies' night, and that the event is just another way to build their business.

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