The owner of a Gentlemen's Club is suing Horry County after it was denied a business license to open a second club.
The company, MJJG Restaurant LLC, wants to open a nightclub on Kings Highway in the restaurant row area.
Horry County denied the request, saying the company violated zoning laws by operating the Gold Club on Jason Boulevard as an adult entertainment business instead of a nightclub.
Horry County said it repeatedly asked MJJG to discontinue adult entertainment at the Jason Boulevard location.
Horry County's zoning director, Rennie Mincey, denied the company a business license for the new club, where Thee Old Doll House strip club used to be, arguing it may violate zoning laws there as well.
MJJG's attorney alleged that this is unconstitutional and disputes the allegation that there were zoning violations at the Jason Boulevard club.
"It's a prior restraint or censorship, if you will, about conduct that has not yet occurred. The denial was based upon the mindset and the assumption that the business would be based on a violation of a zoning ordinance when, in fact, there had been no opportunity to violate the zoning ordinance," said attorney Kenneth Moss.
The company is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit for loss of business.
The lawsuit also alleges the county's zoning rules on adult entertainment are too vague.
WPDE reached out to Horry County officials, but because of the pending litigation, they said they could not comment.