Strip Club Refuses to Go Bust

Nude dancing returns Thursday night to the Sunset Strip when The Body Shop rises from the ashes of an electrical fire.

On Dec. 4, a blaze destroyed the roof of the West Hollywood strip club at 8250 Sunset Blvd. A cleaning crew that arrived for work at about 6:45 a.m. discovered the fire.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Opened in the 1940s as a burlesque club, the business went from featuring topless dancers to an all-nude strip club. The club received a glowing review from a reputable source in 1987 -- it was mentioned in Motley Crue's hit "Girls, Girls, Girls" as one of the band's favorite locations.

The club, which does not serve alcohol, is also rumored to be an occasional hangout of some of Hollywood's rich and famous, and the place Demi Moore went while preparing for her role as a topless dancer in "Striptease."

After undergoing a million-dollar renovation, The Body Shop will reopen at 8 p.m. Thursday. Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the family of club owner Salas Almudarris, said the club employs as many as 500 people, with many of the performers working as independent contractors.

"All the businesses around there have been suffering since the fire," said Whitmore, who is best known as a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "In this time as we know ... things are closing down. This business is reopening."

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