The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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March 29, 2008

Pittsburg’s experience with nude dancing differs from others dealing with issue

By Greg Grisolano

ggrisolano@joplinglobe.com

PITTSBURG, Kan. — The clairvoyant was OK. The stripper was OK. But a Crawford County Sheriff drew the line at allowing a voodoo priestess to perform at Pat’s Lounge, which has provided totally-nude entertainment for more than 30 years in Pittsburg.

“They said ... everybody’s complaining about cow tails and ears being cut off,” recalled Pat Rohrbaugh, 68, the former owner. “I’m going, ‘Hey, she’s an old woman in her 60s. She puts some chicken bones down and drinks some tomato juice.’ I had to send her back to Kansas City.”

There also was the time Pat wanted a wrestling contest — in Jell-O.

“They told me wrestling in Kansas has to be sanctioned by the state,” she said.

In February, Rohrbaugh sold the club, just four blocks from downtown Pittsburg and smack-dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

“I think it’s time,” she said. “It was a way to make a good living. The money was good if you’re willing to put the hours in.”

The club’s new owner, David Yeamans, of Pleasanton, doesn’t plan on making changes, not even to the name.

“Everybody knows Pat,” Yeamans said. “They don’t know Dave. I’d have to do 27 years of owning a gentleman’s club to get that kind of reputation.”

Since buying the club, Yeamans said he appreciated the help and advice Pittsburg police and city officials have given him, going so far as to invite him to city hall and reviewing city rules and regulations for adult businesses.

“I have to give kudos to city officials and the police department, they’ve been just great,” he said. “They’ve been very receptive for a person not living in Pittsburg.”

Differing styles

Pittsburg’s approach to Pat’s Lounge differs from that of other areas, including Jasper County, where officials have been looking at ordinances to regulate sexually-oriented businesses proposed along Interstate 44 between Joplin and Sarcoxie.

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