TAMPA, FLRichard Brainard, owner of Shakerz Gentlemen's Lounge, announced plans Monday to hire more minorities at his Kennedy Boulevard nightspot.
"We're looking for some Asians, mainly, but I think we could also use two or three Puerto Ricans and a light-skinned black girl," Brainard said. "Man, those Puerto Ricans can dance. Makes you wish you were 22 again, I'll tell you that."
Brainard said the new hires will help Shakerz better represent his community.
"We need a lineup that's a little more Tampa," Brainard said. "That means we need more Mexicans. Sometimes it's hard to find one with a decent pair of tits, but that's not going to stop me. We're doing this because it's right, not because it's easy."
Shakerz has had positive experiences with minority employees in the past, Brainard said.
"Margarita's a real class act," Brainard said. "And Camero, the black girl we had last year, was sweet as shit. Sure, we had a lot of problems with her not showing up, but it's not because she was black. Skipping out on shifts is a thing chicks from all races try to pull."
"Except the Dominicans," Brainard added.
While he's already placed a handwritten "Now Hiring" sign in the women's bathroom, Brainard said he also plans to place an ad in the South Tampa Community Courier announcing the availability of "dancing positions for girls of all nationalities."
"Sometimes, I let [manager Randy] Toby pick the girls, but this time I'm gonna do it myself," Brainard said. "I'll make sure we get a little more color in the lineup. Now, I'm not gonna refuse to hire a white girl if a hot one comes in. That'd be what they characterize as racism against whites. What's it called? Reverse racism."
Representatives from several competing exotic-dance clubs said Shakerz's new hiring initiative simply brings the club up to speed with other Tampa establishments.
"We've had black girls since '92," said Ricky Alvarez, co-owner of Mr. Bo-Jiggles Adult Entertainment & Seafood Bar. "As long as a candidate is qualified, we never discriminate based on race. That said, with Shakerz making moves, we're going to be proactive and get ourselves the skinniest black girl we can find. And also one with a real plump ass and big titswe don't discriminate based on weight."
Many Shakerz patrons have expressed excitement about the new equality-minded hiring policy.
"Damn, we're gonna party when the new girls start," said Trent Billings, a real-estate developer who has lived in Tampa his entire life. "Maybe put up some flags or have some sort of U.N.-style wet-T-shirt contest or something. Or maybe a strip-off, to see which races are best at stripping. Something fun."
Added Billings: "They do that, I'll be there, and I'll have plenty of dollar bills in my hand. I love women, no matter what color they are. And they love me, too, 'cause I ain't cheap."
Current Shakerz dancers said they support the affirmative-action measures.
"Lots of different kinds of guys come in hereeveryone from advertising types to truckersso it makes sense to have a lot of types of girls," said Mandy Flowers, who has been dancing at Shakerz for nearly a year. "Meeting different types of people is one of the benefits of this job. I like working with the Puerto Ricans. They're always down with partying after closing time."
Informed of the initiative, Florida Equal Opportunity Employment Commission spokesman Arthur Wright applauded Shakerz for "promoting racial equality throughout the adult industries of central Florida."
"We fully support Brainard's diversification efforts," Wright said. "Finally, someone is recognizing that it takes all kinds to entertain a broad cross-section of lonely, horny men with specific ethnicity-based fantasies. The interests of business and society can be one and the same."
In a move likely to please Wright, the owner of another area small business has already chosen to emulate Brainard's plan of action.
"We have a pretty good mixcustomers are always asking for Latin girls and Asiansbut now that I think about it, I guess we could use a couple new girls of color," Night Dreams Escorts manager Tony D'Ammagio said. "We're always looking for new girls."