Huzzah! The Clermont Lounge — along with its iconically aging, can-crushing strippers — has been saved! OK, so it appears the bizarre Atlanta institution (recently visited by celebrities like Anthony Bourdain, Robert DeNiro and part of the local "Real Housewives" cast) may never have been in true danger. But this week's news of the Clermont Motor Hotel — perched atop its namesake lounge and condemned in 2009 — being sold to out-of-state developers sure raised the eyebrows of lounge devotees. A team of Nashville and New York developers plans to convert the Ponce De Leon eyesore into a boutique hotel, the AJC reports. One of those developers, though, told Curbed Atlanta the plans DO NOT include shuttering the infamous burlesque club in the building's basement. "The Clermont is important to the Atlanta community, and the beloved Clermont Lounge is part of our redevelopment, as we do not plan on interfering with it," Ethan Orley of BNA Associates LLC said.
The hotel was built in the 1920s and shut down in 2009 after Fulton County health officials "complained of dirty linen, old bedding and stains from bedbugs, as well as mold and unsanitary plumbing issues," the AJC reported. A purchase price has not been made public for the building, but a prior owner tried to sell it for $6.5 million a few years ago before losing control of the property. The lounge — home of Blondie, the buxom dancer renowned for crushing empty beer cans with her, well, buxomness — has been open, under a series of different names, since 1968.
Orley said he believes "the community will like what we have in store" for the hotel. "While the details of the redevelopment of the Clermont Hotel are still being worked out at this time," he said, "we are very excited to be involved with this Atlanta landmark."
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep