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Tampa’s Seven Seas nude lounge shuts down After Long History

TAMPA – from www.tbo.com – Seven Seas, a Kennedy Boulevard nude-dancing lounge that survived adult-entertainment ordinances, police raids and neighborhood protests, was shuttered today, unable to stay afloat in a stormy economy.

The owner of the property, John Few, with a writ of possession in hand, arrived at the 3023 W. Kennedy Blvd. nightspot shortly after 10 a.m., accompanied by a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy and a locksmith.

“Basically, he quit paying me, so I’m evicting him,” Few said of tenant Larry Wolfe, proprietor of the longstanding adult business. “He hasn’t paid me since January.”

A Tampa Tribune reporter’s attempts to reach Wolfe for comment had not been successful.

At 10:15 a.m. today, soon after Few arrived at his property, a sheriff’s deputy posted an eviction notice on the front door and a locksmith went to work changing the door locks.

“It’s hard to evict a tenant,” Few said. “Our first attempt was in 1999. It’s been a long arduous process.”

There was no doubt in Few’s mind about the initial order of business after taking possession of the 57-year-old building.

“The first thing I’m going to do is paint the naked lady off the wall,” he said, a reference to a bigger-than-life sketch on the building’s exterior wall. “I know the community will be interested to see the naked lady is down.”

The property has been in Few’s family since his grandparents bought it in 1947. At the time, the primary tenant was a whiskey bar called the Seven Seas, he said.

Tampa adult-entertainment magnate Joe Redner bought the lease in the early 1970s, “And it became a strip joint,” Few said.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Seven Seas was among nine nude-dancing lounges targeted by Tampa City Council efforts to close, or at least hamstring, such establishments.

“They were unsuccessful in shutting them down, especially the ones that had been there a while,” Few said.

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