We're changing our name to 'Rouge'

"We're changing our name to 'Rouge,' like Moulin Rouge," says Tori, a waitress at the Hustler Bar-Grill on 624 E Street.

There is a rumor that the restaurant is being shut down due to pressure from the Gaslamp Quarter Association.

"People do come here thinking this is a stripper bar," Tori says, "but it's not."

Besides food, the Hustler Bar-Grill offers a weekend cabaret show (no nudity) where dancers lip sync to Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." One of the managers, Rich, tells me that when the club becomes Rouge in mid-March, there will be a DJ station in the balcony and a dance floor on street level.

I ask him why the dancers don't go to the tables for tips after their act.

"It would seem too sleazy, and that's not what we want," he says. The framed photo of Hustler publisher Larry Flynt in the men's restroom would suggest otherwise.

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