A Dodgeville landmark is set to re-open later this month but not without controversy. It has the township board considering an adult entertainment ordinance.
The business owner is out of town at a veterans' reunion. NBC 15 caught up with his friend at the Log Inn. Minutes after we arrived, a couple of people inquired about booking a party. That's really how this controversy got started.
The nearly 100-year-old barn is getting a makeover. Charlie Long, a manager at the Log Inn, says "Our goal is to have a restaurant and bar where people can come for a good time." But rumors have swirled in nearby Dodgeville that a good time at the Log Inn could include adult entertainment.
Township Supervisor Dave Gollon says, "Every community, whether they want to look at it or not, face it, people, sex sells." The man who will manage the Log Inn when it re-opens later this month says he's not selling sex, or stripping.
"We just want to get it clarified ... it isn't gonna be a strip ... we want to offer it as an option for bachelor or bachelorette parties and that's it," Long says. Perhaps half a dozen times a year, a group could sign up for a party and book a stripper. "There are enclosed rooms ... kept enclosed ... kept away from public," Long says.
A man named Darold Rux owns the 10,000 square foot property. He does not own the lodge, another landmark, that sits next door. Rux informally asked about adult entertainment after people inquired about private parties. "Everybody is a little nervous with adult entertainment ... doesn't matter what community, who, or where it is," Gollon says.
The city of Dodgeville has an ordinance on the books. The county's ordinance prohibits an adult-oriented business within a quarter mile of a residential area, another adult business and places like schools and churches. But the township has no ordinance.
"We saw we had a weakness," Gollon says. Rux and his employees saw controversy ...
"If this is gonna cause controversy in the area ... We'll just not offer that as an option," Long says. Not if it endangers his bar and restaurant.
"It's a popular place, it was a very popular place ... to try to get back," Long says.
A township supervisor says Dodgeville is growing, and he expects the board to look at ordinances from other areas, then craft its own.