If you’ve run packs from the Bay or done any clandestine dealings in Humboldt before 2018 it’s more than likely at one time or another those transactions took place in the parking lot of the Tip Top, the only strip club in the Emerald Triangle and unofficial community hub of The Hill—the nickname affectionately given to the lush mountains of NorCal where growing cannabis is prevalent.
The standalone building was a known destination for lonely farmers and trimmers alike, a veritable trading post pre-legalization, and a hidden treasure trove for dancers. Perched on a bluff off the 101 and Salmon Creek Road in Eureka, the big glass windows tell a clever story to unsuspecting passersby, but only the real ones know what’s actually gone down between those four walls.
The Early Days
When the Tip Top opened in 1997 the original owner, Tom, known to all as T. Great Razooly, was able to maneuver around zoning and licensing laws by designating the club as an RV sales office. According to veteran dancer Jasmine, “all the girls working there were technically RV salespeople and there was one little toy RV that sat on Tom’s desk.” Eventually granted a proper business license, the club changed hands in the early 2000’s—purchased by none other than a former dancer named Sassy.
Back then, clientele ranged from “rednecks to hippies, to hippie-rednecks”, dancer Miraya recalls. Born and raised in Humboldt, Miraya is the daughter and granddaughter of cannabis growers on her dad’s side and millworkers on her mom’s side. She saw the first major industrial shift—from logging to growing—in real time. “Growing up there was tension, loggers didn’t like weed growers, but they had no choice once the lumber and fishing industries died. If they wanted to …
Author: Allie Adams / High Times