The Lone Star Beef House, which achieved notoriety here recently as the nation's only federally owned go-go club, was auctioned off yesterday even as the usual lunchtime crowd watched topless dancing girls earn their pay there.
The highest bidder for the bar and restaurant at 504 Ninth St. NW was William A. Johnson, 40, of Spencerville, Md., former owner of two other topless clubs in downtown Washington, Benny's Rebel Room and This Is It.
Johnson bid $51,250 for the Lone Star.
Since the General Services Administration took over the Lone Star in July, the establishment, which had been operating at a loss, has been doing a booming business and is now breaking even, according to a GSA spokesman.
The lunchtime crowds, which often include FBI agents and D.C. police officers, have flocked to the dimly lit bar and restaurant in ever increasing numbers to see topless - and sometimes almost bottomless - dancers and waitresses.
At noon yesterday, the smoke-filled bar was crowded, and a dozen men stood on the outside waiting to get a seat.
The federal government became the owner of the popular club in July, when part-owner William Sibert, 30, a former Department of Transportation employe, was convicted last November of embezzling $856,000 in government funds.
Sibert, a GS-5 employe, used $75,000 of the stolen money to buy the Lone Star, according to U.S. District court trial testimony. He also bought 16 luxury cars, a house with a swimming pool and was carrying more than $59,000 in cash when federal agents arrested him in Las Vegas in August 1977.
Sibert gave half of the Lone Star to a friend, H. Eugene Young, who was supposed to repay Sibert from his share of the club's profits.
When Sibert was convicted of embezzlement, the Justice Department took his share of the business, and Young later relinquished his share when the Internal Revenue Service sought payment for deliquent taxes.
Johnson's bid was one of 13 for the Lone Star. The bids ranged as low as $1,000.
The GSA now has 15 days to review Johnson's credit record and accept or reject his bid. If the bid is accepted, Jonson would have 10 days to deliver the sale price in cash, a GSA spokesman said.