Despite a promise to keep the dancers at least partially dressed, the city’s Licenses Committee on Tuesday voted against the Ladybug Club’s application for an adult entertainment license.
The committee voted unanimously against the club's request with Alderman Tony Zielinski saying he could not support it because of repeated police calls to the club.
[caption id="attachment_317743" align="alignright" width="476"]
The Ladybug Club is located in the Milwaukee Building at 622 N. Water St. in downtown Milwaukee.[/caption]
Since the Ladybug Club opened in 2005, there have been 84 police reports for the location, according to the city. In November, the Ladybug Club’s license was suspended for 15 days. It was suspended for 10 days in 2014, and for 90 days in 2013.
Alderwoman Milele Coggs said she had a problem with the owner’s plan of operation.
Habib Mangee, owner of the Ladybug Club, also known as 618 Live on Water, submitted the application to add “adult entertainment, strippers, exotic dancing and also amusement and comics” to the club in April, but on Tuesday, his attorneys told committee members strippers were not the intention. Nick Murado, who spoke on behalf of Mangee, said the plan is to host 104 events per year which could include Chippendales or Thunder From Down Under exotic male dancer shows or burlesque female shows.
“We know the population will be booming (downtown) and we want to give our patrons and new patrons a reason to come,” Murado said. “This was in no way was ever meant to be considered a gentleman’s club.”
If the Ladybug Club is granted the license, however, it would not prevent owners from having full nudity, under the city statutes.
The full Common Council will vote on the license application on May 31.
Alderman Robert Bauman, who represents the downtown area, said the Common Council has no choice but to support the license.
Last week, the Common Council voted 10-5
to grant the Silk Exotic owners a license to open a strip club at 730 N. Old World Third St. downtown in exchange for several lawsuits to be dropped against the city. They had sued the city for repeated denials to open a strip club downtown.
Bauman said the Ladybug Club’s lack of clarity on its intended use of the adult entertainment license is concerning, but he will still support
“Strippers are strippers. Nudity is the whole point in checking the (adult entertainment license application) box,” Bauman said. “That is constitutionally protected speech in the form of nude dancers; therefore, following the advice of our city attorneys, I have no choice but to have no objection to the application."
The Ladybug Club is also planning to update its decor and build out a kitchen so it can begin serving food in 2018, Murado said.