Joe Redner, Tampa's "Strip Club King," preps for the Super Bowl
Joe Redner, owner of the Mons Venus strip club and government antagonist extraordinaire, is 80 years old, has beaten cancer three times and thinks he has about six years left.
What's happening: He's getting ready for another Super Bowl at his club, which sits just a stone's throw from Raymond James Stadium.
- A sign of his longevity? Type his name into Google — and one of the auto-fill suggestions that pops up: "Is Joe Redner still alive?"
Why it matters: Tampa is notorious for its strip club industry. It's often mislabeled as the "strip club capital of America," an honor that actually belongs to Portland, Ore.
- Back in 2012, PolitiFact found that Redner himself was one of the prime reasons for this misnomer, with an interviewee branding him "one of the most well-known figures in the history of the adult nightclub industry."
The state of play: As the city preps for a pandemic Super Bowl, Mons Venus is doing the same.
- The most famous strip club in America has installed hand-sanitizing stations, UV lights in the air-conditioning system, and a requirement that everyone — dancers and clients — wears masks.
What he's saying: "My employees tell me they feel safer at work than they do at home," he told Axios. "We don’t have one case of COVID that we know of."
- The man who values his net worth at around $6 million, but lives in a home so small "it would freak you out" won't be at the Mons on Super Bowl Sunday.
- "I don’t get excited about games. I’m sorry. I get excited about the money. I hope the Bucs win, but it’s all relative."
Swan song? Redner, a longtime proponent of home-grown medical marijuana, said his last act of civil disobedience will be marching into Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren's office with a reporter and his own giant pot plant.
This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.
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