Silk Exotic turned down again for downtown strip club

Second application at Old World Third also denied

Silk Strip Club Milwaukee Common council
Silk Exotic recently wanted to open a strip club at 804 N. Milwaukee St.

After hearing from a parade of people opposing Silk Exotic’s application to open a strip club downtown, the Milwaukee Common Council’s Licenses Committee once again denied its application.
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.

Aldermen voted 3-2 against Silk’s request to open the 13,000-square-foot establishment that would have been open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and included a rooftop smoking lounge. Aldermen Mark Borkowski and Ashanti Hamilton voted against the motion to deny Silk’s request to open the establishment.

Dozens of neighbors, clergy, realtors, representatives from the East Town Association and Milwaukee School of Engineering, raised concerns about crime, parking and property values if the club were to open.

Many threatened to move from downtown if Silk were to be granted a license.

“If it opens, we won’t renew our lease when it is up in July 2017,” said Kevin Behl, executive director of Madison Medical Affiliates. “We believe our problems with crime, panhandling and parking will only increase.”

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.

During the day-long meeting Thursday, the committee also turned down a second application from Dusanka Budzum to renew her license for Rusty’s Old 50 at 730 N.

The panel had several questions regarding what type of establishment the bar would be with some members fearing it would become a strip club, because of the location’s past history with Silk.

Despite Budzum’s instance that she was going to turn the establishment into a sports bar, the committee voted 4-1 to deny the renewal with Alderman Anthony Zielinski voting against it.

The full council will vote on both recommendations Sept. 22.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display