Downtown strip club hearing brings opposition
MILWAUKEE -- The owners of a gentleman's club appeared before the Milwaukee Licensing Committee Friday, trying for a third time in the last couple of years to get a permit.
The owners of Silk Exotic want to move into the building at 730 N. Old World Third Street.
A number of people on both sides of the issue showed up. There were 42 people scheduled to speak. Among them were neighbors living at 720 N. Old World Third Street. They carried a petition, signed by 120 tenants of the building who don't want it.
Regina Estrada is one of them. We asked what she will do if Silk is granted a permit to move in.
"I would move right away, I would break my lease," said Estrada.
Representatives of the Human trafficking Task Force of Milwaukee appeared at the hearing as well.
"It is not as simple as just showing off your body to entertain someone. It's a lot deeper than that," said Dana World-Patterson with the task force.
World-Patterson says Milwaukee is already known as a breeding ground for pimps.
"Stripping is also a gateway to prostitution. We don't want that taking place in our community," said World-Patterson.
Silk has three locations and its owner says every time they have met with some objection, but they have always proven to be a good neighbor and he hopes to get this chance to move forward.
"The proof's in the pudding. If they give us a chance, then we're gonna do it. If we do something wrong they're gonna pull our license, so it's not that big a risk," said Jon Ferraro.
The owner of the building also appeared at Friday's hearing, saying he's already done his homework and can see no reason not to allow them in.
"They have a ten year tract record. The police have said they have no objections,: said David Weir, owner of 730 N. Old World Third Street.