Town Says No to Strip Club's Appeal

By: Natalie Swaby
By: Natalie Swaby

It is an ongoing saga for the small community of Cross Plains. Almost every seat was full at a Friday night hearing because Hot Rod's Sports Bar and Show Lounge is fighting to stay open.

"The town is obviously very concerned. I think it is fair to say the entire community is very upset, and opposed to it," says Town of Cross Plains Attorney, Mark Hazelbaker.

To that Hot Rod's owner Jerry Wood says, "if some of the critics would come in and enter the building, and see what we are actually doing here, I don't think we would have as many critics."

Wood recently transformed the once sports bar by adding adult entertainment. But the main stage has been in the spotlight after the Town Board denied the club a license. The town's attorney says plans for private booths violated rules.

"If there are private areas where there are meant to be private dance performances, they have to be designed so that you can see into them to avoid the possibility of sexual contact," explains Hazelbaker.

There is also strife over the strip club because owners managed to open less than a week before a Dane County Ordinance outlawed this kind of entertainment near schools, libraries, and churches like the one down the street from the establishment.

Hazelbaker says, "they are very frustrated because they do not understand why something that is so abominate to the vast majority of the community is allowed to go on."

Wood responds, "you can't tell there is dancing in here, and the beauty of this building is it is big enough where it is two separate buildings."

A sign is posted on the door warning patrons about the activity inside.

"We are not forcing anybody to watch dancing," says Wood.

The Town Board did say no to giving the strip club a license, but if an appeal is filed the club can stay open until Dane County Circuit Court reviews the case. There is also an ongoing investigation into the club's liquor license, so that could be end being another battle.

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