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Published October 22, 2010, 12:00 AM

Bada Bing strip club building closed after failing inspections

Five days after Bada Bing strip club opened on the outskirts of Fargo, city inspectors say the building isn’t in decent enough shape for indecent exposure.

Five days after Bada Bing strip club opened on the outskirts of Fargo, city inspectors say the building isn’t in decent enough shape for indecent exposure.

Ron Strand, head of inspections for the city of Fargo, said a city inspector, West Fargo fire department representatives, and state health officials toured the club Thursday morning to determine if it was suitable for use by large crowds of patrons.

They didn’t like what they saw, and notices on the building’s doors now declare it unsafe to enter until it’s brought up to code.

A review of the building has yet to be completed, but Strand said it was “very easy for the inspector to determine some work needed to be done.”

He said the building likely needs sprinkler installation, additional plumbing and more exit signs, among other renovations.

Mike Benzinger, Bada Bing’s owner, said the news came as a surprise to him. He said he wasn’t informed the building would be closed until late Thursday afternoon.

Benzinger said his attorney advised him to seek a comprehensive list of issues to fix from the city. He said he plans to start work as soon as he knows what needs to be done, and hopes to reopen as soon as possible. But he also said he’s considering legal action if the city drags its feet.

“It’s real frustrating,” he said.

Bada Bing, at 4349 48th Ave. N., falls in Fargo’s extraterritorial zone – outside city limits but under city zoning and inspections jurisdiction. The building was previously used as a storage facility for an electronics company. Strand said it needs more work to make the transition from an industrial space.

“You can’t just turn a warehouse into something else,” he said.

Bada Bing bills itself as the only fully nude strip club in North Dakota. Both full nudity and 18-year-old patrons are permitted because the club does not serve alcohol.

It has clearly seen its share of activity in recent days. On Thursday afternoon, the grounds surrounding the club were littered with cigarette butts, empty soda and beer cans, and a handful of liquor bottles.

Benzinger said he did not have any discussions with the city before opening the club on Saturday. Strand said seeking inspections approval in advance can help businesses avoid unexpected code issues.

“We didn’t know they existed until yesterday,” he said Thursday.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502



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