City anticipating lawsuit after denying Silk’s request for downtown strip club

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:33 am

Silk Exotic’s application to open a strip club downtown was denied by the Milwaukee Common Council Tuesday when the group unanimously upheld the Licenses Committee’s recommendation without any discussion.

Silk has tried for years to open an establishment downtown; its latest proposal was to put a club on the fourth floor of an office building at 804 N. Milwaukee St.

The Common Council’s denial will likely mean another lawsuit will be filed against the city, said City Clerk, Jim Owczarski.

“We are anticipating we’ll get sued again,” Owczarski said.

Silk Exotic owner Joe Ferraro could not be reached for comment.

Silk is currently involved in two lawsuits against the city over its inability to get a license. Those lawsuits came up during the Sept. 17 Licenses Committee meeting.

In February, the owners of Silk Exotic won a big victory in federal court as a jury awarded them a judgment of almost half a million dollars for revenue lost because the city would not grant them a license for a Downtown strip club.

The suit is on appeal in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The second lawsuit has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman, who presided over the first trial.

Silk has three locations, one location in Milwaukee, 11400 West Silver Spring Road, and locations in Middleton and Juneau.

In 2010, the Common Council rejected Silk Exotic strip club proposals at 730 N. Old World Third St. and at 117 W. Pittsburg Ave. in Walker’s Point. In 2013, Silk Exotic tried unsuccessfully to open approval for plans for a strip club in a city-owned parking structure at 4th Street and Highland Avenue, across the street from the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Last year, the Common Council rejected two more Silk Exotic proposals in Walker’s Point at 505 S. 5th St. and 906 S. Barclay St.


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