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What was the Blue Cockatoo Lounge?

Ben Steelman

According to the questioner, this was New Hanover County’s first topless bar, circa 1972, and located at 5523 Oleander Drive.

Maybe. We can’t tell. A search hasn’t found any mention of the Blue Cockatoo in StarNews archives. The Wilmington City Directory lists the occupant of 5523 Oleander Drive from 1971 to 1976 as “Paul’s Lounge” (not to be confused with Paul’s Place up in Rocky Point). An inquiry at the “Hometown Memories of Wilmington” page on Facebook turned up no responses.

The 5523 Oleander Drive address is an interesting location. In 1978 and 1979 it was home to Boom Boom’s Disco. From 1980 through the early 2000s, it was Country Music U.S.A. Then it became El Club Scorpion or El Scorpion Lounge, the area’s first Latino music outlet.

For more on the building’s history, click here.

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