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Sunday Poll: Should Municipalities Make Sure Ordinances Keep Out Businesses With Female Servers In Body Paint?

September 25, 2016 Featured, Politics/Policy, Retail, Sunday Poll 1 Comment
Please vote below
Please vote below

In March an establishment featuring females with pasties on nipples & body paint on their upper bodies opened in the Delmar Loop, with the limits of University City.

When John Racanelli announced last winter that he was replacing his failed sports bar, the Market Pub House, with a spinoff of Soulard’s Social House, U. City officials argued that it was a dramatic change in use — and that Racanelli needed a new liquor license. They then began to hastily revise the city’s code to bar sexually suggestive businesses.

But Racanelli and his always-quotable attorney, Albert Watkins, knew a good First Amendment case when they saw one. They pointed out that other businesses in the Loop had hosted burlesque — how were their servers’ costumes any different? And at any rate, it was the same ownership, Watkins insisted, so no new liquor license was needed. Social House II could open whenever it wanted … and so, on March 4, it did.

In court, the city sought a restraining order in court to close the bar and, at City Council, stripped the bar of its liquor license. Ultimately both efforts were unsuccessful: Judges both denied the restraining order and forced the city to give back the liquor license, suggesting there was a likelihood Racanelli would ultimately prevail on the merits. (Riverfront Times)

The months-long drama had other municipalities scrambling to review their decency ordinances to prevent this from happening within their municipal borders. From last month:

St. Peters has joined the list of area municipalities tightening indecent exposure ordinances following a controversy in University City over a bar which featured female servers with body-painted torsos.

Aldermen on Thursday night passed an ordinance that includes under the definition of nudity the female breast with “less than a fully opaque covering.”

The measure goes on to say that “fully opaque” doesn’t include body paint, dyes, tattoos and liquid latex.

City officials say that’s aimed at keeping bars from employing body-painted servers similar to those used at the now-closed Social House II in University City. (Post-Dispatch)

The Social House II closed months ago, but the issue remains in the minds of many. Which brings us to today’s poll question:

The poll will be open until 8pm tonight, share your views in the comments below.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Mark-AL says:

    I’m not convinced that I need the government to tell me how to live my life, as long as my actions don’t harm others. If I choose to eat dinner at a restaurant that employs servers in the raw, I am not harming others. I am supporting the waitress/waiter serving me, and the restaurant’s proprietor. It’s entirely possible that a particular server’s only qualification for serving tables (and people are willing to pay for) is his/her exposed assets, so those servers need an opportunity as well! The government has somehow misplaced their priorities and are misdirecting their efforts to support constituents’ actual priorities, in my opinion. Seat belt usage is mandatory and is rigorously enforced. Yet, if I don’t use my seat belt, the only person potentially harmed is ME, most of the time. But if I text, I can potentially harm not just ME, but I can also wipe out occupants in the vehicle that I recklessly collide with. It’s simple: I’m more likely to inflict harm on others when I text vs when I forget to buckle up! Yet, I see driver-texters everywhere I drive–in every city I drive in. I can’t imagine the police don’t also see them. They’re supposed to be looking for that sort of thing; I’m not. Government yields to public pressure and denies/limits services for and opportunities to the homeless; they allocate funds to Bluebird research but are stingy when it comes to dealing with our veterans and giving them the support and opportunities that they have earned, citing limited funding as one reason. The poor among us get poorer as each day passes; choices regarding food vs life-sustaining medication are becoming commonplace; pharmaceutical companies are allowed to rape patients whose lives depend on acquiring a particular drug, and yet, support funding to address these issues continues to be limited due to the abuses and pork barreling so prevalent in the welfare system. But all the while we are opening the gates to accept more immigrants, further stretching the welfare budget, and yet our government is not entirely sure that they can safely accept these immigrants without compromising the safety of those among us. But the gates remain open, and the man charged with running this country is eager and impatient to admit even more! Maybe “power” not only corrupts, but also makes people more detached and reckless. But Sir John Acton knew nothing of our current leader when he wrote that remark; otherwise…

    The government has enough to do to efficiently do their job, without worrying about some gal’s breasts dangling in your spaghetti sauce. If something like that offends or is distasteful to me, I can eat next door, and I deserve the right to make that decision–on my own.


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