Longtime downtown strip club owner Whitey Lester dies

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May 15, 2019

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C.- (WRDW/WAGT) -- Longtime owner of the only remaining strip clubs in downtown Augusta, James "Whitey" Lester has died.

He had been sick for a while, and the coroner says he passed away at a home in Aiken County April 19.

Lester has been a fixture of downtown entertainment with a storied, often controversial history as the owner of the Discotheque Lounge and Vegas Show Girls night clubs.

Augusta-Richmond County commissioners considered changing an ordinance that would have allowed the licenses for the only two strip clubs downtown to be passed down to his family after his death. That ordinance did not pass.

Instead, commissioners passed a compromise that allows strip clubs to move into Augusta's industrial zones.

No word on when those strip clubs will have to close the doors downtown.

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