Published Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Updated Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 | 12:26 p.m.
Crazy Horse Too is closed once more. The infamous club’s 19-month run under the ownership of Mike Galam ended abruptly and unceremoniously Aug. 23, as moving trucks arrived to haul away its stockpile of liquor bottles.
The club had a long, nefarious history under the ownership of Rick Rizzolo, who in 2006 was locked off the property by federal agents after being indicted on tax-evasion charges, for which he served a year in prison.
The business sat latent for years until May 2013, when Galam swung the doors open once more. A cocksure, affable and highly persuasive sort, he successfully ran Bare Elegance Gentlemen’s Club near Los Angeles International Airport and Bare Elegance in the San Fernando Valley.
Galam purchased the Crazy Horse property and building and, after a lengthy legal rhubarb with rival club Crazy Horse III over the venue’s name, reopened Crazy Horse Too last year. But the club reportedly struggled to turn a consistent profit and frequently was cited by city officials for violations under its liquor license.
What went wrong at the Horse, exactly? And what is its future? Some question and answers:
Who closed the club and why?
Enforcement agents from the Las Vegas business licensing department arrived at Crazy Horse Too around midnight Aug. 22, because the club was operating under a temporary liquor license. Galam had tried to get a permanent license under his name, but in a hearing with city officials in early August, he was told the only way he would be able to secure a permanent license would be to avoid future violations at the club.
Given that the club had amassed 18 (according to club sources) to 27 such violations (the number stated by Galam himself), Galam was advised by city officials and his own legal counsel to withdraw the application. His temporary liquor license subsequently expired, and officials locked the doors.
For good measure, they also pulled the business’s cabaret license, a move that prevents Crazy Horse Too from operating even without liquor on the premises.
Why was the club suffering such mismanagement?
Galam’s inattention stems from the death of his longtime girlfriend, Theresa Lloyd Anderson, who died suddenly April 3. The couple had three young children, who were under the care of Anderson. Galam said he felt “overwhelmed” by the death and has since moved himself and the kids back to Los Angeles.
Those who worked with Galam at the club say he was devastated, but Andreson’s death only exacerbated what already were chronic problems at the nightclub, including five arrests for prostitution on the property March 13 and an inadequate video surveillance system to track and record what was happening inside.
Who is in charge of Crazy Horse Too now?
A management triumvirate: Las Vegas nightclub veteran Craig Franze; Galam’s father, Victor; and Galam’s sister, Jackie Barnes. Franze founded the concierge service Zexzoo, which supplied the topless Spearmint Rhino club with bottle service until mid-August. Franze was brought on board at Crazy Horse Too in June to help Galam manage the club.
Will the club open anytime soon?
Galam says the licensing process for the new owners should be finished within two weeks, meaning the club conceivably could return to business by the end of September. But those familiar with the challenges facing the new ownership say background checks for a new cabaret license could take one to three months alone, and the city might take a dim view of anyone in Galam’s family trying to own the club.
Galam responds to such concerns by stressing two points: He is out, and he has full confidence in Franze’s ability to turn the club around.
Even so, sources say the club’s best prospects for reopening, if Franze cannot secure licensing himself, might be for Galam simply to lease the property to an operator who has a relationship with the city. Already, local club owners are poking around Crazy Horse Too.