Silk Exotic one step closer to opening downtown Milwaukee strip club

MILWAUKEE -- Despite an initial vote against it, Silk Exotic is now one step closer to opening a strip club in downtown Milwaukee. A licensing committee meeting on Monday, May 8th was contentious at times during a debate on whether to move Silk's application to a Common Council vote.

Silk Exotic

Silk's owners have been working for years to acquire a license for a location on Old World Third Street, but have been denied in committee nearly a half-dozen times. But in a roundabout way, their application now moves on to a full council vote.

There is some history between the Licenses Committee, Alderman Bob Bauman and Silk Exotic's bid to open a downtown strip club. Monday's meeting was a continuation from an April hearing.

"The application is still for 730 N. Old World Third Street, and we would like the committee to vote on that and advance it to council," said Brian Randall, attorney for Silk Exotic.

Licensing Committee in Milwaukee

Silk Exotic has been denied a license for a downtown location since 2010. But the club gained leverage last year when it won a lawsuit against the city.

Alderman Tony Zielinski

An initial vote to advance the application did not pass. But committee chair Tony Zielinski made a motion for denial which required another vote -- which did pass.

"I made that motion so we can finally get this matter to the floor," Zielinski said.

The application now heads to the full Common Council for consideration on Tuesday morning.

A lawsuit against the City of Milwaukee is pending. Silk's owners have said previously they are willing to drop it in exchange for a license -- which Alderman Bauman has characterized as "extortion." Bauman does not sit on the Licenses Committee.

Alderman Bob Bauman