Silk Exotic won an appeal Wednesday in its battle to open a strip club Downtown.
Silk Exotic won an appeal Wednesday in its battle to open a strip club Downtown.

Silk Exotic wins federal court appeal in battle for Downtown strip club

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago Wednesday ruled, 3-0, in favor of Silk Exotic in its lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee over denial of a license to operate a strip club Downtown.

The city lost at trial in federal court last year, but appealed the decision to the 7th circuit. The verdict granted almost half a million dollars in damages and the same amount in attorney fees, putting the city on the hook for over a million dollars.

"This case requires us to visit the world of strip clubs – establishments that no one seems to want, officially, but that are somehow quite lucrative," wrote Justice Diane Wood.

The decision went on to rule against every argument made by the city.

"The City is fighting a losing battle over a regime whose time has passed," Woods wrote. She said the judicial panel found "no merit" in the arguments or actions of the city.

Silk has an identical lawsuit pending in the court of Judge Lynn Adelman which is waiting for trial. If, as expected, the city lost that case as well, the amount owed by the city would be well over $2 million.

Silk has offered to give up on damages if the city approved a license to operate. Silk has applied several times for a license in various parts of the city, but each time the Utilities and Licensing Committee has voted against the club.

Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more developments.

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