Aldermen approve strip club on Old World Third Street

City officials feared more lawsuits if proposal denied or delayed

730 N. Old World Third is where Silk owners are planning to open a strip club.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

The Common Council on Tuesday voted to approve a license application for a strip club on Old World Third Street in downtown Milwaukee, despite objections from the downtown alderman and several area business leaders.

730 N. Old World Third is where several attempts have been made to open a strip club.
730 N. Old World Third St.

The strip club will be located at 730 N. Old World Third St. and owned by Radomir Buzdum and Silk Exotic owners, Joe Modl and Scott Krahn. They sued the city after their repeated attempts to open a strip club downtown were denied. City officials recently worked out a deal in which the lawsuits would be dropped if the license was approved.

The city has already been ordered to pay Six Star Holdings, which includes the Silk Exotic strip club owners, nearly $1 million for denying those club owners a hearing on a theater license several years ago, violating the group’s due process rights. The city attorney’s office and several aldermen feared that the city would face additional lawsuits if they continued to deny strip club proposals from the Silk Exotic group.

“It’s not a small thing when the city attorney comes to the table and says we are in a weakened position when it comes to this lawsuit,” said Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton. “This lawsuit is real. The consequences of this lawsuit are real.”

Alderman Robert Bauman, who represents the downtown area, said the city should fight back against the lawsuits.

“In effect we are trading a license for a settlement of lawsuits,” he said. “This is an invitation for everybody and their brother to file an application. What do they have to lose? If they get turned down, just file a lawsuit. That’s the cost of doing business as a big city. People will sue you. You have to be ready to defend yourself.

The Common Council approved the Old World Third Street strip club proposal on a 10-5 vote Tuesday.

The aldermen who voted in favor of the strip club application were: Ashanti Hamilton, Cavalier Johnson, James Bohl Jr., Khalif Rainey, Bob Donovan, Chantia Lewis, Michael Murphy, Mark Borkowski, Anthony Zielinski and Russell Stamper.

The aldermen who opposed the strip club application were: Nic Kovac, Robert Bauman, Milele Coggs, Jose Perez
and Terry Witkowski.

At a license committee hearing on the matter in April more than a dozen downtown Milwaukee business owners said their operations would be in jeopardy if a strip club proposed for Old World Third Street is granted a license. Tony Janowiec, one of the owners of the Shops of Grand Avenue, told the committee if the strip club is approved it will be a large slap in his face. The strip club would be less than a block north of the main entrance to the Grand Avenue. Janowiec said the strip club would make it more difficult for him to lease space at the Grand Avenue.

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Andrew Weiland
Andrew Weiland is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, Weiland is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, and son, Zachary. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys coaching his son’s youth baseball and basketball teams.