One Year Later, Shelby County Adult Club Ban Still Successful

One Year Later, Shelby County Adult Club Ban Still Successful

Topless bars in Shelby County have been against the law for about a year. Not a problem, and no complaints so far, the county says.
MEMPHIS, TN ( - Pole dancing in Shelby County has gone the way of the Do-Do bird. It's outta here. Hard to believe in an area that was known all around the country as home to the wildest, most outlandish strip clubs in the country. "It's been interesting to watch the law take form," says Adult Oriented Establishment Board member, Marcus Pohlmann.

Pohlmann wants to be reappointed to the board. He told Shelby County Commissioners the new law has been, pretty much, a piece of cake. No big challenges. No fights by club owners. All of this coming after years of legal battles and appeals. "It has gone very smoothly," Pohlmann says. "There hasn't been, from what I can tell, much of any pushing the boundaries of the law. The compliance has been very straight forward with the clubs. They are, if anything, staying a couple of steps back from the law."

The jokes can fly in stories about topless dancing. It's a tempest in a D-cup. I'll keep you abreast of the situation.
Shelby County Commissioners still take it seriously. Chairman Mike Ritz was the one who said the clubs need to batten down the hatches and button up the dancers. "The clubs have decided to operate differently than they were," Ritz says. "They are now operating within the law."

At the commission committee meeting, they gave tentative approval to reappoint Marcus Pohlmann, and to name Kristina Woo to the group. It's her first time doing government service and says "The county was interested in finding citizens who were concerned or who wanted to serve on this board."

Mike Ritz says the crime has dropped in neighborhoods around the clubs. "The people who told me they saw differences," he says, "are the people in law enforcement."

The debate isn't over. Memphis City Councilman Shea Flinn has proposed setting up an adult entertainment zone in Memphis where topless clubs could operate. Council members last March delayed taking any action on Flinn's idea for one year. Ritz says he intends to fight the plan.

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