INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A Hustler Hollywood Store won’t be moving in next to an Indianapolis Chuck E. Cheese after all.
North side neighbors won their fight to keep the company from opening up a planned store on East 82nd Street.
Hustler was fighting the city’s decision to define it as an adult entertainment establishment, but the board voted unanimously to uphold the designation.
“I’m elated and I’m so relieved because there were so many people who were counting on this decision going in the favor of the residents and the community,” said city-county councilor Christine Scales.
Dozens of people took off work to fill the public assembly room.
“This represents the efforts of a lot of people in the business community and the neighborhood,” said Dennis Fulk, who works for a nearby faith-based organization.
They wanted to show the board of zoning appeals they did not believe a Hustler Hollywood store should be allowed in an area zoned for residential.
“Why they would go to such a family-centered venue and locate themselves adjacent to something like a Chuck E Cheese, is beyond comprehension,” said Scales.
Representatives for Hustler pledged to keep certain words like “erotica” and images off their signs to make it more family-friendly. Despite those promises, the board felt they would be an adult entertainment store.
“I’m elated to say the least,” said Fulk. “This has been a two-month battle. To be driving past an erotica sign and the presence of the devices and materials they spoke about in that building, just would be terrible in our opinion and not a good image for our organization.”
Councilor Scales says the vote still allows Hustler to find a place better suited for their type of store.
“I’m still questioning why they decided to take this on,” said Scales. “We have plenty of locations in the area that are zoned for adult businesses and so they have a lot of options available to them where they can go and have at thriving business.”
Hustler already has a 10-year lease at the location, which is why they said they did so much work to make sure the store would work there.
Scales and others in the audience refuted that, saying the company didn’t reach out to anyone in the area at any time before the appeals process.
Hustler can still appeal Tuesday’s decision, but if they do, they’ll have to go before a judge next time.