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The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Subhead: Retail News for the Week of Oct. 27-31
The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up
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Oct 31, 2008 5:00 PM PDT    Text size: 
OREGON

Deadline Extended on Nude Club's Liquor License

TUALITIN, Ore — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has extended a deadline for the city to weigh in on a liquor license for a proposed nude dancing club. The City Council will deliberate the issue Nov. 24 — perhaps at a larger venue to accommodate the expected crowd.

The city's recommendation is now due by Dec. 2, said Tualatin City Council President Ed Truax. "This gives us some breathing room and it gives our police department the time to do a more comprehensive investigation of Stars Cabaret's business practices at its other locations."

Stars Cabarets currently operate in Oregon in Beaverton, Salem and Bend.

Owners of the Stars Cabaret chain plan to open a new club at the site of Out of the Blues, a live blues and jazz club which will continue to operate until Stars Cabaret receives its liquor and business licenses. If approved, Stars will be Tualatin's second nude-dancing club.

Originally, the new club was to have opened as early as mid-November but the OLCC extension will delay that.

Because nude dancing is protected as free expression in Oregon's constitution, citizens concerned about Stars are finding just how few constraints can be placed on such a business.

The City Council and city staff continue to look at possible solutions. At a recent work session, the council considered — and tabled as unconstitutional, unworkable or unenforceable — three possible laws that could have deterred the club, Truax said. Those included creating an alcohol-free zone in the area, creating a four-foot buffer zone between entertainers and patrons or banning direct payment of tips to entertainers.

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TEXAS

County Commissioners Rename 'Sex Businesses'

LUBBOCK, Texas — Sexually oriented businesses in Lubbock County will be known as "Sexually Oriented Commercial Enterprises" under a revised ordinance.

County Civil Division Attorney John Grace says the Commissioner's decision comes at the end of a public comment period that included input from adult entertainment business owners.

"Most of the people who reviewed these, who are in the industry and who are the businesses who are being regulated really did not come back with any big changes," Grace said. "Some of them did have some questions that we were able to answer. There were a couple of people who made some suggestions and in many cases we were able to incorporate their suggestions into the regulations and it was just a way of making things more clear."

Grace adds the new guidelines will allow adult businesses up three chances to have the Sheriff's Department evaluate permit renewal applications. The new regulation is part of a legal settlement with the owners of the Boom Boom Cabaret who claimed permit application procedures were unreasonable.

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WASHINGTON

Developer Threatens to Open Sex Shop if Grocery Store Not Approved

OLYMPIA, Wash. — An Olympia business man said if the city does not let him build a grocery store, he's going to open a sex emporium with live sex shows and even a drive-through window.

Levi Bussanich wants the city to change regulations protecting wetlands so he can build a grocery store. If he doesn't get his way, he said he's going to expand his adult video store into a sex emporium that would include both female and male strippers, live sex shows, a complete bondage and fetish area, an adult motel and a drive-through window for "great customer access."

City Councilwoman Rhenda Strub thinks the business owner is using the threat of a sex emporium to push through approval for a grocery store. She said the city won't be strongarmed — and will be taking a hard look at the legalities of allowing a sex emporium in the city.

Bussanich said he isn’t trying to strongarm anyone. He said he’s just trying to make a living.

“I have millions of dollars of real estate there. If I’m going to be restricted to use a couple acres, I must maximize my investment,” he said.

Bussanich said if the city grants his grocery store, he won’t build the emporium and he will tear down his adult video store.

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ENGLAND

Guyhirn Sex Shop Must Change Signs

GUYHIRN, England — Wording on controversial roadside signs advertising the new sex shop at Guyhirn must be removed, according to a decision by Fenland Council that they are in breach of licensing regulations.

A council spokesperson said, “We have written to inform [owner Tony] Ibrahim that the advertisements on the roadside outside his shop are in breach of licensing regulations and we want them removed. If he fails to remove them the council has the power to prosecute.”

There have been calls for the signs to be taken down from anti-sex shop campaigner Phil Wait, who resigned from Fenland Council when the adult superstore was granted a license, and Fenland MP Malcolm Moss.

Both believe the roadside advertisements are a distraction.

Ibrahim is hoping to open the business within a few weeks.

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