Thursday, December 02, 1999

Plans for Hustler store gain momentum

Building on site likely to be razed next week

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MONROE — Plans to put a Hustler “mega-store” here are gaining steam.

        When the doors of city hall opened Wednesday, a contractor was waiting to apply for a permit to demolish the former Gold Star Chili restaurant. That building, located next to Bristol's Show Club and Revue, will likely come tumbling down by early next week.

        Later Wednesday, the Butler County Auditor's Office completed the transfer of the 1-acre commercial property near Interstate 75 and Ohio 63 to Jimmy Flynt for $280,000. And a crew was at the 1038 Lebanon St. site that afternoon to dig up an underground gas tank.

        “We're ready to roll,” said Mr. Flynt, brother of Larry Flynt, Hustler publisher. “They'll start demolition as soon as we get the permit.”

        The permit is just a formality, Mr. Flynt said.

        “I don't think any kind of politics or censorship will come into play at this stage of the game,” he said. “When we construct the building if they think it's not being used properly, there may be something to pursue.”

        Mr. Flynt said the goal is to start work on the 5,000- to 7,000-square-foot building no later than the first of the year, and to be in it 90 days later.

        Frank Joy, manager at Sara Jane's Restaurant next door, said customers are overwhelmingly opposed to a Hustler store in the area.

        “It's not that they're worried about it being close to us (the restaurant), they don't want it here, in their community,” Mr. Joy said.

        Jimmy Flynt earlier described the planned store as a combination lingerie shop and hip clothing store, similar to Hustler's West Hollywood, Calif., store.

        But there are plenty of people preparing to battle the Flynts.

        The Monroe Ministerial Association and the Sharonville-based Citizens for Community Values (CCV) organization will host a town meeting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at United Methodist Church, to gain support.

        And Mayor Elbert Tannreuther said the city is preparing a counterattack — looking for ways within the law to block the store.

        CCV President Phil Burress said Wednesday that attorneys with Community Defense Council (CDC) in Scottsdale, Ariz., are looking at zoning, licensing and regulation issues for Monroe, and the case is a top priority.


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