You Never Forget Your First: Cabaret II

My very first trip to a strip club must have been in the fall of 1990. Jack Rabbit, Scooter, and I all made the trip up from school to attend the sold-out Andrew “Dice” Clay show at the Schnitzer. It was a three-day-weekend, as I recall. At least we spent an extra day or two away from school and at my parents’ house south of town. Scooter and The Rabbit decided to strike out on their own and look up an old high school buddy of theirs’ and leave me home alone with the parents.

The next morning they told stories of the land of milk and honey. Where girls took their clothes off then talked to you about…well…whatever. The place was Jiggles in Tualatin. Their buddy became enamored with one particular girl and just wanted to sit and talk with her all night long. Good for him.

A few weeks later, Jack Rabbit and I were back up for something or other. We decided to hit CJ’s out at 175th and Stark. At the time CJ’s was a juice bar catering to the under-21 crowd. This, of course, meant a steep cover and $8 Cokes. But we didn’t much care. We gladly paid for both.

We were escorted to our seats in the ring above the stage where girls would come by every few minutes and offer us private dances. I became smitten with one name Tigre. She was maybe a year or two older than us (we were 19 at the time), blonde, slim, and flat chested. But there was something about her. I can’t put my finger on it.

I must have bought five or six dances off her that night. Each of them “blue light” specials. Half price all naked things. She went through the same routine each time, putting her breasts right into my face while exhaling right into my ear. Oh my. She had me by the short and curlies. Could have done anything she wanted with me.

Between dances, Jack and I would sit at our table and watch as other girls gave other guys their dances. When a particular move would impress us, we’d applaud. I spent most of the night just wide-eyed.

“Do they all shave?” I asked Jack.

“Yes, yes they do.”


Back before the tramp stamp, it used to be that shaving your privates was a sure sign of sluttiness. No more. Shaving is almost more common now, especially in the under-30 set, than not shaving. I would go so far as to say unshaved may be the new shaved. Perhaps we can discuss this another time.

I haven’t been back to CJ’s/Cabaret II in well over ten years. The place has changed hands a number of times. But it’s always remained a strip club and, I think, a juice bar.

Well, no more. The Cabaret II is now a full-function bar with beer on tap and spirits of every kind. The bar definitely left much to be desired, but the $3.75 draft Coors Light is pretty damned reasonable. And the help is attentive but not distracting. A girl on stage has her breasts in your face? The waitress will wait to ask if you’d like another beer. Very nice.

As usual, it took a second or two to get my bearings upon walking in. The place, I believe, either started out as a pizza or steak joint. Seating is in three levels surrounding the stage. As I walked in, I saw a small gaggle of dancers huddled together next to the dressing room door, looking up at the stage like baby robins. Were they under-age performers? Dunno. Weird.

I took my seat at the rail and put a dollar up on stage. I was the only guy at the rail. There was one at the bar and two or three on the level above me.

I’ve only recently decided the best place to sit in a club is at the rail. See, there’s an unwritten code among dancers that they cannot hassle customers for private dancers while they’re sitting at the rail. Anywhere else is fair game. So as long as I keep feeding singles, and occasional Lincolns, I’m fine. Sometimes I get a little extra attention, sometimes I get left alone. Fine by me. As long as I don’t have to have some stilted conversation about my day or my job or how long you’ve been dancing here. *Ugh*

My first clue as to what I would find inside came in the parking lot. It’s never a good sign when the car next to you has a baby seat in the back. With the exception of a few girls, most of the dancers looked like they may have all worked with my girl Tigre in the past. One may well have been her. Not a good thing.

I promised myself I’d do a better job of remembering names, but as usual I forgot most. The ones I do remember? Essence. A skinny black girl with a million dollar smile. Oh my. And her song selection was modern R&B which I can get with. Her body was perfect and she put on a good show. And, unlike most of the girls, she was tattoo-free. A real take-her-home to mom kind of girl. Unfortunately I think I only got to see her last dance, otherwise I would have treated myself to a lap dance with her.

Mercedes was another black girl and was one of only two, along with Essence, who looked like they were having fun. She was a thicker girl with the largest breasts in the room. Spent a lot of time lying down on the stage and smiling at me. Man, I liked that.

Beyond those two, there really wasn’t anything to write home about. Heather I was looking forward to see because of her red hair and fit body, but once she was on stage, she didn’t do anything for me. And her top, I don’t believe, ever came off. She had small breasts with stretch marks. Not a good look. She was one of only two who broke the fourth wall and made physicall contact with me. A nice touch.

The last one, Tigre II who’s name started with an M (Mystery?) broke the mold of all the others. While the other dancers were languid and slow, Tigre II came out like a tornado. She looked like an amalgam of four different girls I went to high school with, right down to the Gresham perm that went out of style with metal. But that didn’t stop her from frantically stalking the stage like a combination cobra/Axl Rose. All with a creepy smile on her face. Yick.

The more I think about it, the more I think she went to high school with me. This is not a good thing.

So that’s the Cabaret II. Wednesday was probably not the best night to review it, things being absolutely dead and all. But there I was. It’s clean and the drinks are reasonably priced. But if you’re looking for a fresher girl with fewer miles, may I recommend driving a few miles west and checking out the Club 205.

Posted by Richard Thruster,


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