Today, the Westown Association board of directors voted to oppose the Silk East license application. Westown will draft a letter to be presented to the Licenses Committee at its meeting on Sept. 20 at 9:30 a.m. opposing the Silk East application.
The new Downtown Milwaukee Master Plan has Wisconsin Avenue and the Shops of Grand Avenue (both in Westown) as its top priorities. So, obviously the Westown board didn't think a strip club helps its efforts.
But, now that we know more, does putting an 8,000-square foot gentlemen's club near Wisconsin Avenue and near the corner of Old World 3rd and Wells Streets make sense? That's the question that Downtown Milwaukee leaders need to ask themselves.
No judging or saying that gentlemen's clubs are bad, but is perception reality? Do we need to look at the big picture for our city's premier neighborhood -- Downtown? Or is this project (one that the operator says is a $1.5 million project) a means to getting even more people Downtown?
Is a business specializing in "male and female exotic dancing, stripers, wet T-shirt contests and wrestling -- amateur and professional" in the best interests of Milwaukee's Downtown? It might be. There's obviously a demand for the product.
Would Target want to move close to a strip club? Would a major new business want its office to be there? Maybe? Maybe not?
How does ESPN Radio feel? It's across the street.
Fact is that 730 N. Old World 3rd St. is not in the middle of an entertainment district. It sits in the middle of a commercial and residential street. Yet, the fact that the space (the former Martini Mike's) is on a strip (so to speak) that doesn't have other bars and restaurants might be a good thing.
Your thoughts, Milwaukee? Does Silk East fit on Old World 3rd Street? Let's continue to discuss.
And, if you support or oppose be sure to show up at City Hall on Sept. 20 at 9:30 a.m.
A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.
He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.
Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.
He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.
He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.