Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Pimp My Retail

Ooooh baby, more, more!

With little fanfare, another sex shop has opened on King Street. This time Upper King Street is feeling the heat.

Lotus Blooms, which replaced Nina's Closet (a children's clothing store) at 1017 King Street is just two doors down from the Catholic Pauline sisters' store which sells religious books, cards and rosaries.

The stimulating new business (formerly known as Dascha Boudoir Boutique) had its grand opening over the weekend. The shop has erected a prominent display of purple marital aids (as they used to be called when the Growler was young) near the front window, along with feather boas and other exotic apparel.

Give Lotus Blooms credit for fulfilling the City's eternal quest for a vibrant community.

If readers remember, the City's leaders found themselves in quite a firestorm when property owner Mike Zarlenga obtained sweet revenge for an unfavorable Old & Historic District BAR ruling by leasing his building to Le Tache on lower King Street nine months ago.

The first sex shop to hit venerable Old Town, Le Tache garnered publicity you just can't buy over the controversy, including a New York Times article which noted "The city is now considering restrictions on new adult businesses in Old Town."

Now, however, with Lotus Blooms slipping through the cracks, should we be concerned that City leaders' resolve to take action wasn't stiffened sufficiently by the earlier kerfuffle?

What does it take to curb and discipline such unruly commerce? Is the bondage of revenue shortfalls holding the City in such a tight grip that only dildo sales will turn the tide?

Hard-pressed King Street retailers are quietly fuming, remembering that the City has lavished hundreds of thousands of dollars on not just one but two retail studies in the last five or six years to help whip the drooping corridor, studded with empty storefronts, into shape as a soignee destination for shoppers.

But with some Council members talking about bringing national retailers to King Street, are we to expect Frederick's of Hollywood and split-crotch panties will be close behind?

In the meantime, let the Growler ask the question that may be dominating some readers' minds at this point:

Can you get a Jack Rabbit there?