Cheetah gentlemen’s club owner Bill Hagood had a single piece of advice for his staff as his 75th birthday neared last week: “You better not throw me a party or I’ll kill you.”
Ducking around a swarm of decorative balloons, Hagood grinned and added: “Nobody listens to me anymore.”
Party not withstanding, Hagood opted to celebrate his milestone with a gift to the Midtown strip club’s loyal clientele and 300 entertainers: a million dollar makeover of the 32-year-old nightspot.
And Hagood gave Intel an exclusive guided tour of the entire operation.
Illuminated quartz counter tops glow throughout the club while the two main bars have a sleek art deco feel to accompany plush new bar stools.
“The club was looking a little tired and worn and not very inviting,” Hagood conceded. “I’m a frugal person so I could afford to do this all myself without having to worry about a bank loan.”
A massive chandelier greets VIPs inside the club’s new private chef’s table with lush leather seating for six. The luxe glass fixture originally hung in Hagood’s left coast home. But the relocation west didn’t take with the longtime Atlanta philanthropist in recent years so he opted to come home where he now resides in a condo atop the Four Seasons hotel.
As the club’s gorgeous nude dancers approach the birthday boy with hugs and kisses on the cheek, Hagood confided: “To be honest, people’s perceptions about my life are far different from how it really is. Most nights, I’m never even here unless someone talks me into staying for a drink. Thankfully, with my staff, I don’t have to worry about a whole lot of things.”
The Cheetah’s ultra-luxurious penthouse comes complete with its own private entrance (for celebrities who don’t wish to be seen) and stocked with its own dancers who gyrate atop pressure-sensitive boxes that light up when stepped on.
Backstage, the dancers enjoy their own manicure/pedicure and teeth whitening stations, a hair salon, dressing rooms, lounge and tanning beds.
Signs on the wall instruct dancers about to hit the main stage: “Behave Professionally Anytime You Are In The Club” and “No Private Conversations On Stage.”
“We have a pretty big rulebook here,” Hagood allowed. “But those rules, along with our dedicated customer base, have kept us here for more than 30 years. We treat our customers like ladies and gentlemen. Period.”
In an adjacent garage, a small fleet of luxury limos await to transport any inebriated customers home or to pick up prospective conventioneers at downtown hotels.
“At 75, I can’t sit here and tell you I know everything,” Hagood told us as he sipped water and surveyed the afternoon crowd in the club.
“But consistency is a must in this business. The customer needs to know what to expect each and every time. We’ve got customers who have been coming here for 20 years. I’ve got bartenders who have worked here 30 years and some of the girls have worked here in various jobs for 18 and 20 years. I like to think we’re doing something right.”