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RAF MILDENHALL, England — Women will be dancing naked starting next week at a club just a garter’s toss from RAF Lakenheath’s main gate.

Pete Usher, owner of the Lakenheath Country Club, was licensed this week to offer “pole dancing, lap dancing and table dancing that will involve total or partial nudity” at the Ushers nightclub on the country club premises.

Surrounded by farm fields, the facility is less than a half mile from the main gate of the base, home of the 48th Fighter Wing, and about one-quarter mile down a tree-shaded lane across the A1065 highway.

Usher said Americans are “part of the plan” for clientele as he switches from country and western music, which was waning in interest, to an adult show in which dancers will perform nude or simply topless.

Initially, he will offer the entertainment only on Friday nights, beginning Aug. 12, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. If the interest is there, he may offer it on other nights as well.

Capt. Jason McCree, a public affairs spokesman for the base, said Thursday, “Base personnel are free to visit any establishment they wish unless otherwise off-limits.”

Usher bought the club in 1998 after the Air Force, which had used it as a rod and gun club since 1972, gave it up. Clay pigeon shooting still is available on the site, which includes a bar and restaurant.

Usher had been providing similar entertainment for “stag nights,” the British version of a bachelor party, for several months. “It’s not everybody’s cup of tea,” he said. “But for those who want to view it, you want to make sure it’s an art form and not lewd. It’s not in anyone’s interest to run a den of iniquity.”

British law is quite specific regarding such entertainment. For example, garters worn by dancers for placement of gratuities may be “no higher than midthigh.”

Patrons must remain seated except when arriving, departing or going to the toilet. No person other than the dancer is allowed in the performance area “in a state of undress.” Patrons may be no closer than 32 inches from the performers.

Usher believes it will be a success, but added, “I’m a businessman. If it doesn’t pay, it won’t be staying.”


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