He’s tried a Card Room, Mini-Casino, Karaoke, Teen Club, Live Music, Free Pool, Darts and Happy Hour Specials but local Everett Businessman Robert J. Noriega has yet to find the formula for success at his place on the west side of Paine Field. Next up, The Black Pearl, a strip club that he hopes will allow him to recover his investment in the property. I had a chance to sit down with Robert this afternoon and found him open, engaging and very upfront about the many different ways he’s tried to make a go of it since opening The Pointe After in 2009. He tells me he’s no stranger to west Everett and Mukilteo, raising a family and coaching at the Mukilteo Boys and Girls Club for the past sixteen years. Having exhausted most of the uses for the building, he says he plans on removing the liquor and beer and serving only non-alcoholic drinks. He built a stage, is applying for all of the necessary permits and plans to run a clean upscale club. He’s looking for a professional manager and while he knows that some people in Mukilteo will likely be outraged that a strip club is opening across the city-county line, he hasn’t received support from enough of the residents to make any of the other forms of entertainment he’s tried, profitable. Over the years there have been a string of businesses in that location that have come and gone. From its time decades ago as a tavern called Soft Sam’s, to then Big Sam’s and then a few other variations before undergoing a major remodel and becoming Cartwright’s American Broiler. Most recently it was Cherry Blossom Thai and Sushi before it became the Pointe After Casino and finally, the Pointe After Lounge, It does appear the location has been practically everything but a strip club.
Since it’s located in unincorporated Snohomish County, and fits within their zoning rules for adult entertainment, Noriega says there is little Mukilteo or Everett can do to stop the club. He tells me he’ll be a good neighbor, employer and local business owner. So the question becomes…Since its a legally permitted business under local laws and given the area’s economy, don’t we need all the local business owners we can get? Including legal strip clubs that are complying with zoning rules and all applicable laws? Plus the State and Snohomish County can really use the taxes and licensing fees the Black Pearl will generate. Good luck Mr. Noriega, it should be interesting to watch what happens.