UPDATE 7/29/13 @ 8 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Pink Pony, a strip club with a troubled past, will be getting a major makeover.
The establishment, located in Cross Lanes, has been sold and is going to be remodeled into a restaurant with a sports theme. It's going to be called Carney's.
The new owners say they are going to offer a place where people can come and watch sports in a family friendly atmosphere.
New signs for the restaurant are expected to start going up next week. Carney hopes to open the doors by Dec. 1.
A preacher has a plan for the Pink Pony, the former strip club that was mired in controversy for several years after Powerball millionaire Jack Whittaker was drugged and robbed there in 2003.
The old strip club has been for sale for over a year.
The Rev. Art Hage wants to buy the place and turn it into a church and rehabilitation center.
“It's been a haven of evil," says Hage, who preaches at Bible Church & Ministries in Hurricane. "When good people do nothing, nothing happens. When good people do something, something happens."
But, it's going to take a lot of money for this plan to happen.
"We've got to raise about $795,000,” Hage says.
Hage’s church also runs the Faith Mission, where he and his parishioners are doing a lot of important work helping the homeless, drug addicts and those dealing with various other issues.
Hage’s parishioners say there's a need in this area for more services like that.
"There's so many people that are down and out, and they're really going through hard times," Paul Bentley says.
Of course, the Pink Pony's colorful past is well known, but the pastor says he doesn't think the stigma will keep people away.
"Christians that love God, they'll come because they want to help other people," says Hage.
The pastor and other members of the church recently have begun their fund-raising effort. Hage says if the church is successful, he thinks it'll take up to a year to remodel and expand the building.
At that point, he hopes 200 to 300 families will join the church.
If the pastor fails to raise enough money, there's a back-up plan: the money will go toward existing programs at the church and Faith Mission.
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