In Bars & Clubs

Silk Exotic will receive $968,331.75 from the city over the denial of a strip club license.

City agrees to pay Silk nearly $1 million for loss in strip club license suit

The amount the City of Milwaukee is going to have to pay as the result of losing a lawsuit in federal court over a license request for a strip club Downtown is finally settled.

The city has agreed to cut a check for $968,331.75 after losing its lawsuit at trial and again in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals after the initial verdict. The amount covers both the damage award and attorney fees.

Jon Ferraro, owner of Silk, said he was pleased the lawsuit was finally over and looked forward to an almost identical suit that is making its way through the federal court system.

Aldermen questioned whether the award in the pending lawsuit would be larger than this settlement and were advised by the City Attorney's office that it likely would.

No timetable for the second lawsuit has been set, but Ferraro has maintained all along that he is willing to settle with the city if Silk is granted a license to operate a club Downtown.

Silk has applied for licenses several times in several different areas of Downtown, including some locations that are in the middle of vacant lots or broken down and empty buildings. Each time, residents and businesses in the area mounted campaigns to deny the license, and each request has been turned down by the council's licenses committee.

There are some observers who speculate that with new council leadership and the renewed focus on development of Downtown into a destination for business and convention travelers, the chances for a license may improve.

There is an agreement between the city and Silk to meet after the check has been cut to discuss settling the pending suit and any further lawsuits that are being prepared. Those meetings are expected to take place at the end of summer.


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