Will Bob Davis Get the Last Giggle?

After winning $1 in a suit against the city, the strip-club speculator's attorneys ask for more.

Bob Davis’ dream of making money again by not having a strip-club license were dashed recently when a federal judge awarded him one thin dollar for having his rights violated by the city of Seattle. He’d wanted $2.3 million, almost triple what he’d already earned through similar court challenges. But it was still a win, and therefore his attorneys are now able to ask the court to make taxpayers pay for the firm’s $300-an-hour services to the would-be stripper prince, a $138,000 tab.

Davis once operated Giggles Comedy Club and the Urban Comedy Cafe, and is responsible for a lawsuit that forced City Hall to lift its moratorium on new downtown strip clubs in 2007. Unable to open his own club, he has made a decent living through failure: He won $500,000 from Seattle in a 2005 case after proving the city wrongly refused him a club license, and three years later collected $350,000 from the city of Bothell using the same strategy.

The most recent case involves his attempt to open a strip club at the site of Cyndy’s House of Pancakes in north Seattle. The plan was stalled by neighbors and city officials invoking an adult-cabaret requirement that such clubs not be close to schools, child-care centers, or public parks. There, as U.S. Judge Robert Lasnik reminded in his March 27 ruling, the court ruled against the city because it “failed to place limits on the time within which the decision-maker must issue the license.”

With Cyndy’s, Davis proved he suffered financially as a result of the city’s delay. With Giggles, however, he couldn’t. “[E]ven if the City had moved as fast as Plaintiff now demands, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to prove, as a matter of fact, any damages,” ruled Lasnik. “Given the pace at which Plaintiff moved throughout this process, the volatility of the market, and Davis’s own statements, the Court finds it more likely than not that Plaintiff would have done nothing while Davis waited to convert Giggles into Jiggles [another failed strip venture]. Moreover, even were the Court to assume that Plaintiff would have acted promptly to open at an alternate location, the evidence demonstrates that it would have only lost money.”

Still, the $1 award left the door open for attorneys’ fees, which Davis’ lawyer, Kristin Olson, submitted last week. Along with a few other charges, her costs were $134,000, she says, and a second attorney is due $4,200. The city has said it will challenge those charges.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Screenshot from ORCA website
New ORCA system launches for regional transit across the Puget Sound

Overhaul includes new website, mobile application and digital business account manager.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Diane Renee Erdmann and Bernard Ross Hansen. Photos courtesy of FBI
FBI arrests Auburn couple after 11-day manhunt

The couple was previously convicted for fraud and skipped sentencing on April 29.

Screenshot from Barnes and Noble website
Cover art of books that KSD Librarian Gavin Downing says have been under fire: “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts),” by Lev A.C. Rosen, “If I Was Your Girl,” by Meredith Russo, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George Matthew Johnson.
Kent middle school librarian wins intellectual freedom award

Gavin Downing refused to keep ‘silence in the library’ amid attempted book banning and censorship.

t
Kent elementary school teacher accused of using racist language toward student

River Ridge Elementary instructor placed on administrative leave by Kent School District.

FILE PHOTO: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Dozens of King County Sheriff’s Office employees left jobs instead of getting vaccinated

This added on to the existing number of vacancies in the department.

Joann and Allan Thomas are flanked in court by their attorneys Terrence Kellogg (fourth from the right) and John Henry Browne (far right) on May 10, 2022. Judge Richard Jones is presiding over the case. Sketch by Seattle-based artist Lois Silver
At drainage district corruption trial, it’s a tale of dueling conspiracies

Allan and Joann Thomas are in trial in Seattle on fraud charges.

King County logo
King County audit finds backlog of property tax exemption applications for seniors, people with disabilities, and disabled veterans

The auditors found that program expansions lead to three-times the amount of applications.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson (Screenshot from video press conference)
AG announces $518 million settlement from pharmaceutical companies over their role in opioid crisis

Most of the settlement money will be used to mitigate the opioid crisis in Washington.

Most Read