Poetry nightclub owner Mike Goodwin says he’s moving his business out of Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. On Tuesday Goodwin said he’s close to finalizing a new deal for space on the Strip, but isn’t ready to announce the specific location.
But he was certain the club will move out of the Forum Shops, where it has been in business since 2003.
“We don’t really have a choice,” Goodwin says. “It has just kind of gotten to be unbearable.”
Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois restaurant, which shares space with Poetry, recently closed. The two entities had an operating agreement to share the venue.
In addition to Chinois closing, Goodwin says an ongoing dispute with Forum Shops owner Simon Property Group and management at Caesars Palace contributed to the decision to move on.
Goodwin’s company has a lawsuit against the landlords because they started closing the main gate to Forum Shops in the evening during prime club hours.
The lawsuit states the decision to block access is because landlords are uncomfortable with the demographics of Poetry’s clientele, which is primarily black. Caesars and Simon deny the allegation.
Goodwin says the gate forces customers to access his upscale club through a back alley and dingy hallway. He also says the club has had trouble with air conditioning at the venue.
“What we claim they are doing they have done. It has damaged us, it has damaged our business,” he says, adding the lawsuit will continue.
In the meantime, Goodwin plans to be open for business at Forum Shops this weekend, and move into a new location within 12 weeks.
Maureen Crampton, a spokeswoman for Simon, says there’s nothing she knows of that would stop Poetry from doing business this weekend.
“As far as I know, Poetry is still operating, open for business,” she said. “I have not received any other kind of notification.”