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Detroit Leaders Worried Over Strip Club's Opening


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9:05 p.m. EST January 17, 2004 - City leaders are concerned that the opening of a strip club downtown this week will create a negative image for Detroit

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick told the city's religious leaders on Friday that his fight to keep the Deja Vu strip club from opening ended because a federal court ruled that the club was protected under the First Amendment.

The city council is now moving toward prohibiting total nudity in both licensed and unlicensed establishments.

Councilwoman Sharon McPhail's proposed ordinance would fill a hole in a law that allows nudity only if liquor is not served on the premises.

"We in the city of Detroit have been, historically, a dumping ground for all kinds of activity that nobody else wants in their communities," said McPhail.

Kilpatrick seemed to agree with the council's view.

"I don't want to destroy anyone's business, but at the same time, this is not how we want to develop the downtown of the city of Detroit," said Kilpatrick.

But some continue to question the mayor's position on strip clubs, Local 4 reported. In September, Kilpatrick wrote a letter to an Eight Mile Boulevard association official that reportedly said, "I am not opposed to adult entertainment venues locating within our city's limits. However, I am opposed to a proliferation of this type of entertainment within a specific area of the city."

But Friday, as the ordinance was being introduced, the city's religious leaders received a letter from Kilpatrick which appeared to contradict his previous statement, according to the station's reports.

The letter stated: "I have always been steadfastly opposed to this, or any strip club, opening in downtown Detroit or any new location in the city."

Kilpatrick's spokesman, Howard Hughey, told Local 4 that the mayor's statements in the letters are not in conflict and he clarified Kilpatrick's position saying that the mayor opposes any new adult entertainment clubs from opening in the city.

Hughey said the mayor wants to avoid a red light district from developing.

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Detroit has been trying to get this crap out of downtown for years. This would make the fourth one downtown. They need to do something so that a red light district doesn't develop downtown. If this one opens, more will likely follow.

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^yeah, this has to do more with the revitalization of downtown as a whole. Super Bowl visitors wouldn't mind strip clubs because half of them would probably be in them as well as the casinos. The strip clubs in Tampa did pretty well during the last Super Bowl there. I don't think anyone has a right to force them out of business. However, a certain area of town should be set aside for them away from residences, schools, and churches, etc.

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Yeah, I don't see what the big deal is. I'm sure some of the people in town for the Super Bowl may want to stop by a strip club sometime during the weekend. It's a national chain which has to keep certain standards even if is a strip club. It's not like it's some hole-in-the-wall that'll get raided on a regular basis. I truely doubt it will hurt anybody in the least bit.

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