A new branch of the popular cabaret club, Baby Bathhouse, is to open later this spring on Stoke Newington’s Church Street in Hackney.
Like the original venue in Broadgate, it will function as a daytime café, an evening restaurant, and a club at night with their well-known burlesque performances.
Church Street has become famous for its large number of public houses and restaurants providing a diverse range of food, drink and entertainment. It is also home to a wide range of independent shops and boutiques popular with young families, particularly mothers and their young children.
Tony De Burgh, 44, said: “It is fine as a late night club and a restaurant. We need those places around but I’m not sure about bringing a strip club or something similar to the area, especially since it is near a nursery, a primary school and the street is used for a lot of families like mine.”
“As long as there is no drinking and fighting in the streets it is fine, it is the same as pubs.”
Another passer-by with her six children, who asked not to be named, said she “can’t accept these places” because of her Jewish faith. “I think it will be disturbing,” she said. “The street will be louder and it is something that especially our community is not going to enjoy.”
Milka Meyer, a 36 year-old mother, expressed concern about “the type of people” that might be attracted to the venue. “I have never been a fan of these places because I think it is degrading to women,” she said. “I do not welcome it in the area.”
Suzanne Begly, 27, considers Church Street to be “a very strange place to have a strip club”, but “is not too worried” because she does “not think it will do a good business and it may not last long.”
Konrad Fraczek, 27, said: “It is a good idea because we do need more places to hang out at night. We have a few pubs and restaurants but not a proper night club.”
Despite these worries, the new cabaret venue hasn’t applied for a Sex Encounter Establishment (SEE) License so they will not be allowed to put on strip shows. In 2008 Hackney council which currently follows a ‘nil’ policy responded to the group of local residents carrying out the Stop the Strip Pub campaign.
No campaign has been waged against the Baby Bathhouse and the owners, Tava O’Halloran and Daniel Wright, have expressed in previous interviews that they are happy to be located amidst the vintage shops and record stores.