2015: Nevada's Only Topless Open Carry Bar
The tiny Elko County city of Wells, Nevada, isn't known for much. In 2021 it's known for two things: a real estate boom and it's controversial Sixth Street Bar that made waves in 2016 over it's topless bartenders who were openly carrying. With COVD-19, the bar in this forgotten corner of Nevada has struggled badly with the loss of business, brought on by Governor Sisolak's bar closure and mask mandates.
This did not bide well for new owners Mike Oxbig and Anita Koch who remodeled the bar, brought back the topless, gun-toting girls, and started posting tantalizing phots on Instagram. After a sixth month hiatus, Oxbig and Koch re-opened the bar and hoped for the best. One thing they didn't go for were shirts and masks.
Elko County health officials fined the bar twenty-seven times for mask related violations alone, adding on public indecency charges that led the female staff to "cover up" with pasties and masks that insulted the governor. Anti-mask supporters from all over Nevada, and even travelers dipping off I-80 for a drink, came to support the bar throughout 2020.
However, this support and the defiant stance, only doing the bare minimum to "cover up", infuriated new residents of Wells. Two of those new residents happened to be from California.
The 2020 pandemic brought a revolution to the nation's work force. Many people began to work from home remotely from anywhere in the country. This is what brought Max C. Pads, a human resources manager from the San Francisco Bay Area, to Wells. He wanted to trade is $3,000 a month 1,500 sqft apartment for a sprawling 2.5 acre lot.
Unemployment is what brought Jackie Mehov, a feminist studies major and diversity coordinator, back home to live with her grandmother, Norma Stits. What did Mehov and Pads have in common? They desire to help lead their new, rural community into the 21st century through progressive politics.
After a contentious election, in November 2020, Mehov and Pads were declared the winners of the two council seats up for election. Vote counting took three days and was won by a margin of 734 and 735 votes respectively, all new residents who took advantage of same-day registration and mail-in ballots.
The new pair led a challenge to the old variance from city ordinances prohibiting nudity that the Sixth Street Bar gained back in 2015. Suddenly the big draw for this little bar was under threat.
Mehov told Nevada Carry that: "While female toplessness should be permitted wherever male toplessness is allowed, businesses shouldn't be exploiting its female workforce as a show piece to draw in business. This is degrading to women and objectifies them, glamorizing not only weapons, but also the resistance to the governor's order that we all wear masks to stop the spread."
Pads attempted to pass an ordinance outlawing open carry, but found himself in hot water after the city attorney advised that the city would probably be sued if they did so. Someone also kept lighting bags of dog poop on fire on Pads' porch.
Karen, 44, a buxom mother of two who carries a pair of magnums, states that she feels very empowered taking her top off at work. "I get double the tips I got before and I get to stick it to the governor? What's not to love?"
Owner Anita Koch said: "We welcome customers who appreciate the freedom that we celebrate in this bar. They aren't coming here for the burgers or the video poker, that's for sure."
Currently pending on the Wells city council agenda is a motion to ban the use of pasties in businesses. This ordinance is supported (ironically) by Sixth Street Bar's owners and staff as it would make the bar a full-topless one again. Pads and Mehov, who sponsored the proposed ordinance, admit that it was flawed, and rather than promote the nudity they abhor, intend to modify the language to require at a minimum bras.
The two anti-boobs and anti-gun councilpersons requested that state legislators ban openly carried firearms in nude establishments, but were ignored by their local Republican legislators. Reportedly, they didn't have enough money for a campaign donation to Democrats in Reno and Las Vegas to get one of them to sponsor their "no guns with boobs" legislation.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West