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BEST STRIP CLUB (FEMALE DANCERS) Minneapolis 1999 -

If you're going to design a strip club for the downtown Minneapolis male bourgeoisie (and wannabe bourgeoisie), you need to give your room not just the veneer of class, but a kind of ski-lodge coziness that makes all those nervous Oles-in-suits comfortable. Rick's Cabaret fits the bill, with a dimly lighted sports bar at the front leading to an elegant showroom in back. It also has a low admission price (six dollars on Wednesdays and Fridays, three dollars the rest of the week). At the bar, boars' heads peer down blankly from the green walls near a fake fireplace and a huge TV set. The large, upholstered chairs surround tables with tablecloths. (There's a complimentary lunch buffet Monday through Friday.) The wall of the main showroom, meanwhile, is lined with ornately framed mirrors and arty black-and-white photos of female nudes. There's a painting of a peacock in the "Harem Room," a smaller den separate from the other two chambers, presumably for more private performances. (Table dances cost $20.) In these settings, the topless dancers--and they really are "dancers"--seem both perfectly comfortable and unusually exposed, like happy streakers trapped in a five-star restaurant.

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