Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Bristol's opposed to zoning plan

Adult club might fight

By Janet C. Wetzel
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MONROE — A representative of Bristol's Show Club and Revue claims the city's proposed licensing and regulation of sexually oriented businesses and their employees is an effort to damage or destroy the exotic dance club.

        Terry Wolfe, husband of Bristol's owner Giselle Wolfe, said the club is prepared to fight the proposed zoning measure, which council will vote on at today's 7:30 p.m. meeting.

        Mr. Wolfe said he plans to attend and bring owners of other exotic dance clubs who could be affected if other cities follow Monroe's lead.

        “We're concerned about this type of ordinance,” said Mr. Wolfe, president of the Ohio Cabaret Association. “I think there are some problems with it. I think it's unreasonable and an attempt to run us out of business.”

        If council approves the new law, Bristol's is preparing swift countermeasures, Mr. Wolfe said.

        “We'll immediately take it to court,” he said. “We'll ask for an injunction. We'll be forced to.”

        Monroe Law Director Philip Callahan said the emergency legislation, which would go into effect immediately if approved, is not an attempt to drive Bristol's out of business. But if Bristol's wants to go to court, it “certainly has the right to do that.”

        Bristol's, with about 75 exotic dancers, is Monroe's only sexually oriented business. It opened in 1994 before the city adopted zoning ordinances restricting such businesses.

        Mr. Wolfe said the new legislation also is aimed at a new Hustler store Larry and Jimmy Flynt plan to open here in July. But the Flynts have declared that the majority of merchandise will not be adult items.

        The new law would restrict operating hours for sexually oriented businesses; and require live performances to be held on an elevated stage at least 6 feet from patrons, and businesses and employees to register with the city and buy licenses at up to $250 per business and $100 per employee. Annual renewals would be half that.

        Employees and patrons could not knowingly touch each other in specific areas of the body, and patrons couldn't put money on employees' bodies or costumes.

        Randy Trimble, Bristol's general manager, has said the law would curtail dancer's tips, their livelihood.


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