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Planners of ‘James Bond meets Playboy’ club deny servers would be ‘sex objects’

The owner of a planned “James Bond meets Playboy” club has hit back at allegations that its serving staff will be “sex objects”.

Proposals were unveiled this summer to transform the former Pizza Express in Dean Street, Newcastle into a “high-end” venue named the Cad Club, open to member’s only and featuring “scantily clad” hostesses.

However, the project was met with strong objections from authorities and Women’s Aid, which stated that the institution would be “reinforcing [that] women and girls are for sexual entertainment and this somehow is a male entitlement”, according to Chronicle Live.

City councillor Lesley Storey also maintained that it could promote a “hostile” environment for women, adding that “we need to be going forwards not backwards into the 1950s”.

The fate of the club will be determined next Tuesday in a licensing hearing conducted by Newcastle City Council.

In an objection letter, the South Jesmond councillor added: “I fear for women working in the service industry if we grant premises like this the opportunity to promote waitresses as sex objects.”

But Dan Miller, of applicant Bijoux, has hit back at the criticism and said it was “deeply offensive” to suggest that the venue will objectify women.

Mr Miller added that the “James Bond meets Playboy” concept had been “completely misunderstood” and that there will be no lap dancing or striptease at Cad Club if it is granted a licence by the council next week.

He said there would be no uniform or specific dress code for staff, who will be both male and female, and that each employee would be given a clothing allowance to buy their own outfits to fit in with the club’s luxury aesthetic.

And despite the venue’s licence application stating that its waitresses will be “scantily clad”, Mr Miller insisted that there will be “no more flesh on show other than what you would normally expect from someone going on a night out”.

City centre councillors Jane Byrne, Shumel Rahman, and Teresa Cairns also objected to the plans, while the council’s community safety team warned that the club “fails to address the safeguarding of adults, with women subject to unwarranted attention or coercion and/or possible blackmail from syndication of photographs taken by patrons on mobile phones or other devices”.

Northumbria Police has also warned that the club could cause “higher levels of intoxication and alcohol related anti-social behaviour” around Dean Street and complained that its request to stay open until 3am goes beyond the city council’s usual 2am cut-off for alcohol sales.

Before Tuesday’s hearing, Mr Miller responded that there won’t be patrons “falling out the door drunk”, adding that the club would be “about everything that is high end” and would have “the best food in Newcastle by far”.

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