When people used to talk about cleaning up the neighborhood around Bachman Lake, it usually involved getting rid of Nick Rizos, proprietor of the long-gone, burned-out topless bar Caligula XXI on Northwest Highway. Now just look at how things have changed in that area: It's Nick Rizos who's cleaning up the neighborhood, literally, by opening what he boasts will be the "largest car wash/Laundromat combination in the world," on the very site where Caligula once stood at 2828 W. Northwest Highway. The business, called In N Out, is described in a press release as being "loaded with more than 200 state-of-the art machines, plasma screen TVs, an arcade, 16 self-serve car wash bays, one drive-through car wash lane...and free wi-fi."
The press release, written by Rizos' wife, Dawn, promises that District 6 city councilman Steve Salazar will appear at a ribbon-cutting and press conference at In N Out next Sunday at noon. Salazar's assistant wasn't in today when I called to check on whether he's got this one on his calendar, so I was unable to confirm. I called Dawn, and she told me Nick's a businessman and just wants to provide whatever kind of business it is that people want. They say they want topless, he does topless. They say they want scrubbing bubbles, he does bubbles. "Nick just grew up poor and is going to do whatever it takes to make money," she said.
After I hung up, I had a thought, though. If the combination car-wash-laundromat-arcade-wi-fi-lounge doesn't get any traction, you could add the topless back in. What goes better with bubbles than boobies?
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Note to Randy Staff: That was a joke. Just kidding. Please believe me. Please. --Jim Schutze