Controversial Diamond Palace nightclub might move out of downtown if tentative deal holds up

City sought to close it as public nuisance

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati officials want to permanently close a controversial downtown nightclub they say allows nude and semi-nude dancing without a license.

Owners of Diamond Palace at Fifth and Elm Streets are fighting the closure, claiming that because city officials are in a conflict-of-interest situations because the City of Cincinnati owns the former Convention Place Mall where the club is located -- making the city the landlord.

Cincinnati police say they made numerous runs to the downtown club for a wide range of problems, including fights, shots fired and disorderly conduct.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety issued citations for dirty fixtures and tables, and insects in liquor bottles, according to court documents.

A hearing was held Tuesday to try and reach an agreement on the future plans for the club, but nothing was done in open court. Instead, nearly everything was done in the chambers of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Melba Marsh.

Both sides talked separately, then together, then with the judge for nearly two hours.

In the end, Marsh mediated a possible solution to the dispute that city attorneys called an "agreement" and club attorney Lou Sirkin called an "understanding.”

Neither side would comment after the hearing.

Marsh said the next 48 hours will be critical for each side to clear hurdles that could lead to a deal.

The clubs owners say they would like to reopen somewhere else -- possibly in Camp Washington, where they could apply for a license to operate a sexually oriented business.

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