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Oak Harbor nude club plans unveiled

Michelle O’Kelley - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Michelle O’Kelley
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Michelle O’Kelley is behind Oak Harbor’s hurried effort to approve an emergency set of laws to regulate nudity and erotic dance within city limits.

“The emergency motion wasn’t called because someone was sunbathing nude at City Beach,” she said. “It was called because of my inquiries. In my opinion, that’s discrimination toward gentlemen’s clubs.”

The 27-year-old stay-at-home mom who claims she has an anonymous backer said her ambition is to earn enough money for her five children to pursue higher education, an opportunity she never had while growing up in Oak Harbor.

“My business goal is to sustain a successful business and put five kids through college,” O’Kelley said of her interest in opening an adult entertainment business in Oak Harbor. “My personal goal is to sustain a comfortable living.”

“When I grow up I want to be a millionaire,” she said. With that money, O’Kelley wants a comfortable life without the worry of where the cash will come from to pay next month’s bills. After that’s accomplished, she’s set on helping others.

“I want to give back,” she said, before rattling off a laundry list of local nonprofit and service organizations including the North Whidbey Help House.

“I was raised on Help House food,” she said. “I would really like to break the welfare cycle of my family.”

A couple of years back, O’Kelley started kicking around the idea of her own business and she’s found “a private individual” who is able to fund her business venture. He’s been a part of the community for a long time, she said, declining to reveal his name.

O’Kelley’s already chosen a name for the club, however, and she’d like to open by mid-May this year.

“The Red Tie will be a high-end establishment,” she said.

O’Kelley hopes to find a building under 3,000 square feet where she can have two 18-inch-high stages. The working business plan includes about 15 employees, 10 of whom will be dancers, both male and female.

Her first offer on a Goldie Road location was refused, another attempt inside city limits was also turned down, but a third attempt got a positive response, she said.

Apparently there is a Oak Harbor landlord who’s willing to let O’Kelley use their property, but she wouldn’t won’t say who or where.

The club will stay fresh with a themed night once a week.

Activities will include mechanical bull riding, mud wrestling and fluorescent body-paint games, among other themes. The Red Tie, however, doesn’t plan to host anything along the lines of wet T-shirt contests, she said.

She isn’t concerned about the location of her club.

“I think it’ll be a very successful business no matter where we put it,” she said, adding that she’d consider a spot “on the outskirts of town,” or in the county.

Advertising will be minimal, if at all, she said. The Red Tie’s signage or any other advertisements will be respectful and contain no mention of nudity.

“We would like to ease ourselves into the community,” O’Kelley said.

O’Kelley’s plan includes full nudity, table dancing and semi-private booths; there will be no touching, lap dancing, prostitution, drugs, or alcohol, she said.

“Our idea is to maintain a lawful business,” she said.

The club will have a dress code and enforce a zero-tolerance policy for those who disregard the rules, she said.

Eventually, O’Kelley would like to include lunch and dinner “pub-fare,” but for now she’ll just start off with dancing and non-alchoholic drinks.

“I want it to be a place where the mayor can come and sit down and have lunch,” she said.

O’Kelley’s interested in feedback from the community. Contact her at mo247mine@yahoo.com.

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