Filings lay bare Shotgun Willie’s 2019 income: $4M for booze, $340K for table dances

Strip club Shotgun Willie’s, which has struggled due to coronavirus restrictions, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It had a profit margin of 16.9 percent in 2019, according to court filings. (Thomas Gounley photos)

The strippers aren’t working, but Shotgun Willie’s is still baring it all.

The Glendale strip club has submitted financial documents as part of its recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, offering a window into the operations of an often opaque industry.

In late November, Shotgun Willie’s submitted a 2019 income statement to the court, showing it had revenue of $7 million. After accounting for $5.87 million of expenses, it posted net income of $1.19 million.

That’s a profit margin of about 17 percent.

The income statement is generally far from titillating, with most categories — insurance, food sales, cleaning supplies and bartender salaries — likely shared with any bar and restaurant.

One of the few line items that suggests the nature of the business is “table dance admissions,” which brought in $340,009 last year. A less-specific “admission income” category accounts for another $779,240.

The cost of staff refers to bartenders, cocktail waitresses and disc jockeys, but not dancers, who are independent contractors at most strip clubs. The statement does indicate that a “House Mom” was paid $26,584 last year.

The statement shows that Shotgun Willie’s sold $4.1 million worth of alcohol in 2019. Liquor sales accounted for $2.93 million of that, or 71 percent.

Drinking is much more popular than eating at Shotgun Willie’s. Food sales for the year totaled $232,354. Cigar income totaled $73,083.

The strip club spent $263,313 on advertising over the course of the year.

All the above numbers are for 2019, when most Americans had never said the word “coronavirus.” By the end of March, a stay-at-home order was in place, and only essential businesses — a category that does not involve strip clubs — were allowed to open.

The strip club is located at 490 S. Colorado Blvd. in Glendale.

Shotgun Willie’s reopened in late spring, but closed again temporarily last month when state and local governments increased restrictions on businesses once again to slow the spread of the virus.

The club filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 18. The business said that it owes more than $1 million and has assets totaling between $500,000 and $1 million.

“We believe this action gave us the only chance of surviving in this uncertain climate and was unfortunately unavoidable,” the business said in a statement after the filing. “After being shut down previously on March 17, 2020 through May 26, 2020 as a result of Executive Orders issued in response to the spread of COVID-19, the club has attempted to operate despite ongoing restrictions. Recent developments are forcing another imminent closure; accordingly, our survival depends on the protections provided by the law in a reorganization context.”

In court filings, Shotgun Willie’s also projected its cash flow over the next six months. It assumes the club will be entirely closed for December and January, with no revenue and monthly expenses of about $165,000. The business will resume being profitable when it opens in March, the filing predicts, but at the end of May it will end the six-month period with a total loss of $146,000.

Strip club Shotgun Willie’s, which has struggled due to coronavirus restrictions,…

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