1. The(e) Dollhouse - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
ORIGINAL VENUE: CLOSED - Related venues still open
WEBSITE: None for original venue
There's been debate over exactly which place Mötley Crüe referenced when it lauded “The Dollhouse in Fort Lauderdale” in its 1987 hit – largely because there wasn’t a strip club named The Dollhouse in that city at that time. The confusion likely stemmed from Mick Mars not being up on zoning issues, and Nikki Sixx ingesting many drugs, we assume.
The best answer to this question, dredged from the bowels of the internet (and that we’ll ride like a mulleted bronco until Tommy Lee corrects us), comes from back-and-forth commentary that sprung up at Rock Genius.
Initially, someone claimed the song referenced the Sunny Isles Beach-based Thee Dollhouse, opened in 1979, which changed its name to The Beach House Cabaret in the 1990s. This venue took credit for being the club in question until the day it closed in 2011.
However, 11 months ago, a person by the name “ArmenZ” came forth with some new information, claiming:
“The Dollhouse Mötley Crüe refers to was Dollhouse IV on Broward Boulevard in unincorporated Broward County, but in an area that was commonly referred to as Fort Lauderdale by locals, even though it was just outside of the city limits. This club made it into the Crüe song after they hung out there following a show at the Hollywood Sportatorium on the Theatre of Pain Tour in ‘84”.
It’s a solid story we can get behind, and ArmenZ’s claim seems respectable – especially because he totally (allegedly) knew some girls who worked there at the time:
“I know this inside story because I knew a couple of girls who worked at both the 'III' and the 'IV', as well as the Booby Trap, which was originally in Fort Lauderdale, but got driven out to Hammondville Road in unincorporated Broward County near Pompano Beach when Mayor Jim Naugke(sic) cracked down on strip clubs in the city limits in the mid '80s”.
Damn you Jim Naugle.
Anyway - there were several "Thee Dollhouse" strip clubs in Florida in the 1980s (and the extra E is not a typo, that'ss how it was actually spelled), and the chain still exists, ever-powered by skin-trade legend Michael J. Peters -- aka this guy.
Considered the man who “swanked up” strip clubs, and head of more than 50 internationally back in 1993 (you may remember him from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous), in the late '80s and early '90s, Peters was truly living the dream.
And then he went to jail for some alleged fraud things that seemed maybe a little bit tied to the mob (not saying they were!).
Today, there are still at least two Thee Dollhouse venues operating that stem from the original chain, located in Tampa, FL, and Myrtle Beach, SC.
The Tampa location seems to be doing well enough, while the Myrtle Beach location has kicked it up a notch with perks like bikini golf outings and $5 steak-and-egg specials after midnight -- perhaps not the most hard-rock of moves, but who are we to judge? We’re just happy to know you can still, in some spirit, go to there.