Nude Steakhouse Could Be Closing Its Doors MondayAP , Associated Press
May. 14, 1995 1:26 PM ET
LONGVIEW, TEXAS LONGVIEW, Texas (AP) _ The sky could be falling on the East Texas Chicken Ranch.
Gregg County's first ``totally nude steakhouse'' has caused quite a flutter since it first opened its doors a year ago, becoming a target for both protesters and legal action.
Now it appears the doors will be closing permanently on Monday as a result of a settlement reached between Gregg County and owners of the Longview establishment.
Robert S. Davis, who has represented Gregg County in legal action against club, said the owners of the East Texas Chicken Ranch have agreed to shut down Monday and not open another sexually oriented business in the county.
In return, he said, the county has agreed it won't seek attorney's fees and court costs from majority owner Herbert P. ``Andy'' Anderson or his partners.
``I talked to (Chicken Ranch attorney) John Gamboa and have sent them documents, which reflect our agreement,'' Davis said. ``I think from talking to them they are in the process of getting them signed and the Chicken Ranch will close its doors (Monday).''
If the restaurant's owners fail to sign the agreement, Gregg County will reinforce legal action against the East Texas Chicken Ranch, Davis said.
Gamboa could not be reached at his Fort Worth office on Sunday.
David Kitchens, manager of the East Texas Chicken Ranch, declined to comment, saying his employers ``aren't interested in doing any publicity right now.''
Almost immediately after the club opened last May, citizens and parents have waged a ``war against indecency,'' picketing the establishment and videotaping customers entering and leaving.
Bruce Edge, one of the founders of Longview's Citizens Against Pornography in Texas and the Pine Tree school district vice president, said if the club indeed shuts down, it's none too soon.
``It's long overdue. ... These businesses prey on our youth and our economic development. That hurts the community,'' Edge said.
Besides complaints from irate neighbors, the East Texas Chicken Ranch has been in other hot water.
Gregg County commissioners passed an ordinance in July regulating sexually oriented businesses and requiring licensing fees. The nude establishment and others sued.
Later, the Texas Department of Transportation forced the business to move its sign _ a portrait of a nude woman lying on her stomach, beckoning potential customers to come inside _ claiming it was too close to the Texas Highway 31 right of way.
Earlier this year, one of the owners was jailed for contempt of court after Justice of the Peace Virginia Barlow determined the restaurant wasn't complying with an order from the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission to fix a septic system problem.
Mrs. Barlow said the TNRCC filed nearly 200 complaints against the East Texas Chicken Ranch with her office.