Houston Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department responds after Midtown night club promised ‘exotic animals in cages’

Babylon nightclub (Dylan McEwan/Jet Hospitality, Dylan McEwan/Jet Hospitality)

HOUSTON – Houston’s Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department released a statement Friday after KPRC 2′s Bryce Newberry reached out for comment concerning a club called Babylon that promised “exotic animals in cages” which debuted on July 1 in Midtown Houston.

Cory Stottlemyer, public information officer for the department, shared the following statement:

“BARC was made aware Thursday, June 30, 2022, of the Babylon Club’s plans to have several exotic animals on display. City ordinance requires that any entity exhibiting these animals obtain an inspection, permit, and approval from BARC 20 days before the event. BARC was able to make contact with the club owner regarding the necessary Wild Animal Permit. We have attached a sample of the permit application. Chapter 6, Article III of the code of ordinances lists the specific requirements: https://library.municode.com/tx/houston/codes/code_of_ordinances/178617?nodeId=COORHOTE

BARC management and enforcement staff met the club owner the morning of July 1, 2022, to explain the permitting process and requirements. The club owner let us know later that same day that he would no longer have animals on display and would not be submitting a permit application for that evening’s opening. An enforcement officer visited the club that evening and confirmed that no live animals were on display that evening.

“In regards to the soft opening, we weren’t there to witness the event, so we will not be issuing them a citation.”

The final sentence is apparently in reference to the nightclub preview, seen in videos on social media by influencers who were invited to attend days prior to the official grand opening. One video published by Instagram user @itssamazing showed a camel cordoned off on the street by painted gold barriers. A Chevron gas station can be seen in the background of the shot. The influencer is seen petting the animal in the video.

@itssamazing wrote on Instagram, “Welcome to Houston @babylon.htx! 🖤 @babylon.htx brings a taste of Ancient Persian culture to Midtown complete with belly dancers and live animals! 🐪🦚🐅🐍 We had an amazing time previewing this stunning nightclub and know for sure this will be an exclusive Houston hot spot! 🔥 @babylon.htx officially opens this Friday, July 1st with their grand opening celebration happening all weekend long! 🪩🍾🎊 Stop by and check out their debut! 🎉”

RELATED: ‘Exotic animals in cages’ a promised feature of nightclub to open in Houston’s Midtown


About the Authors:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.