The Anchorage Police Department and the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board shut down an Anchorage strip club they say was operating illegally. They are also investigating two restaurants they say have been functioning as magnets for late night gang and drug activity.
The investigation was prompted late last year when a caller reported that the Showboat Show Club, an 18-and-over strip club at 446 Unga Street, had been serving alcohol without a license, according to Shirley Gifford, director of the control board, which regulates licensing for establishments that serve alcohol.
Undercover APD officers visited the club and were able to buy alcohol, Gifford said.
On Saturday, authorities shut down the Showboat and seized alcohol, drugs, documents and electronic equipment with a search warrant, according to an Anchorage Police Department release. Ecstasy and traces of marijuana were found, Gifford said. About 125 people were on the premises when the search warrant was served.
The current ownership of the Showboat Show Club is unclear. Longtime owner Terry Stahlman said he has been trying to sell the place to a new owner who stopped making payments.
Two restaurants were involved in the same investigation, Gifford said. Patrons would move from one late-night party to another.
"All three were connected," Gifford said. "There would be activity at one and it would drive clientele to the others."
Authorities searched Three Amigos Mexican Restaurant, at 360 Boniface Parkway, with a warrant on March 17. Gifford said they found alcohol served after hours, music entertainment outside the restaurant's permitted activity and illegal drug activity. The restaurant is owned by Victor and Mariela Hurtado.
An employee answering the phone at Three Amigos Wednesday referred questions to Sherman Ernouf, the owners' Anchorage attorney. Calls to Ernouf were not returned.
A third restaurant, near Three Amigos on Boniface Parkway, is being investigated as well, Gifford said, though no search warrant has been served.
"The investigation is continuing and we don't have charges prepared at this time," she said.
After possible municipal court proceedings for people involved in illegal activity, the ABC board has the power to suspend or revoke liquor licenses.
Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4344.
By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS
Anchorage Daily News