Charlie Brown bows out of Underground

Southern Voice Online – Zack Hudson

Despite gay support, promoters say venue was losing money

Charlie Brown took the stage at Charlie Brown?s Cabaret in Underground Atlanta on Sunday night, just as he has so many times over the past 16 months, set to read the crowd with his cutting humor, then win them over with the ladylike charm that has made him a legendary female impersonator for more than two decades.

But the line that drew the most shocked gawks was when Brown announced from the stage that the club bearing his name closes after a final show June 4.

?It?s hard to get people to come down there,? Brown said of Underground Atlanta in an interview May 23.

Charlie Brown?s Cabaret landed at Underground in January 2005, after the city of Atlanta closed Brown?s longtime home, the iconic gay nightclub Backstreet, in July 2004.

The drag cabaret was among the first crop of nightclubs to christen Underground Atlanta, part of a city-owned ?special entertainment district? where alcohol can be served 90 minutes longer than anywhere else in the Atlanta city limits. Despite the more liberal liquor laws, all of the clubs at the city-owned Underground have struggled, with many closing or rotating different themes.