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Posted on Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Bongs & Thongs reminds downtown Ann Arbor of former 'red light district' as city blocks sex toys

By Lizzy Alfs


A "Notice to Stop Work" sign was placed in the window of Bongs and Thongs at 119 East Liberty Street last week, citing "construction without valid permits" as the violation.

Angela Cesere |

For some local residents and business owners, the planned opening of a new adult novelties shop in downtown Ann Arbor evokes memories of an era in the 1970s and 1980s when a nearby stretch of downtown was sexually charged and populated by controversial businesses.

But the city’s questioning of new retailer Bongs & Thongs right to sell sexually stimulating products points to a little-noticed legal shift that gives the government the upper hand in the battle against similar retailers.

People like local landlord Bill Stamoulis welcome the shift. He distinctly recalls trying to avoid Fourth Avenue during the 1980s even though he owned a restaurant at the corner of Fourth and East Liberty Street.

His business, Bill’s Coffee Cup, which operated in the space now occupied by Cloverleaf Restaurant at 201 E. Liberty St., was just down the street from an area he described as the “red light district” of downtown Ann Arbor.

With an adult bookstore, a massage parlor and prostitutes walking the street, Stamoulis said the situation on Fourth Avenue in the 1970s and 1980s was “extremely unpleasant.”


Fourth Avenue, displayed here in 1985, was known to many locals as the "red light district" portion of downtown Ann Arbor.

Photo from Ed Shaffran

“No one liked it. No one,” Stamoulis said. “The local people would not walk on that side of the street. They preferred to go down on Liberty to Main so they could avoid the situation.”

Now, Bongs & Thongs is set to open steps away from Fourth Avenue on Liberty Street near the Kilwins ice cream shop.

“I am not pleased about this,” Stamoulis said. “What we don’t want down there again is how it was back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. This store opening will probably bring back those days and memories.”

Although Bongs & Thongs is causing some people to recall Fourth Avenue’s red light district days, storeowner Kilo Hassan said he doesn’t see the comparisons.

“We’re none of that,” he said. “I’ve never experienced this ‘red light district,’ and I don’t want people to think negatively about my store. If I knew this would happen, I would have called it the Love Boutique.”

City pressures businesses

Although many Ann Arborites value the city’s uniqueness, including the funky businesses that line the downtown storefronts, Bongs & Thongs must change its product mix due to an obscure ordinance cited by city officials.

Meanwhile, the city has also cracked down on two local night clubs located within blocks of the corner of Bongs & Thongs. The city successfully sought the closure of the Fifth Quarter on Fifth Avenue and recently convinced a court to appoint a receiver to oversee operations at the Dream Nite Club on Fourth Avenue after a number of criminal incidents.

But in those incidents, the city cited criminal activity perpetuated by the patrons of the clubs as a reason for pursuing the closure of the nightspots.

With Bongs & Thongs, the city forced the owners to stop renovations, citing a city ordinance that restricts the products that can be sold by adult entertainment businesses downtown.

The zoning ordinance does not allow the sale of “devices of simulated human genitals or devices designed for sexual stimulation” in the D1 District of downtown if these items account for more than 20 percent of a business’ sales, according to city documents.

The ordinance was approved in 1978 as city officials were grappling with the “red light” stretch on Fourth Avenue.

Bongs & Thongs, which plans to sell adult novelties and head shop products, recently signed a one-year lease to occupy the 2,600-square-foot space at 119 E. Liberty St.

Hassan said he expected to get some negative feedback from the community about the controversial store, but he was surprised to find that most concerns have been raised over the store’s adult novelties section.

“I thought I’d get a hard time over our glass-blown tobacco products, not the other stuff,” he said.

Hassan originally planned to open by July 20, in time for the Ann Arbor Art Fair.

But when he applied for a re-occupation license to open his store in the former Liberty Street Video space, his application was denied due to his planned inventory.

Even though Hassan said the ordinance seems somewhat vague, he has now altered his business strategy by removing all of these products from his inventory, he said.

“I just don’t want to deal with it at all,” he said. “I removed those items and gave the inspector my word that I won’t sell anything that is offensive.”

“Red light” district dissolved in 1980s

The city’s role in forcing inventory changes at Bongs & Thongs isn’t the first time the city has attempted to regulate the sale of certain adult novelty items in downtown Ann Arbor.

According to a July 1990 Ann Arbor News article that chronicled the “demise of Fourth Avenue’s nasty reputation,” the city had an eight-year court battle with a similar adult novelties store, the Danish News Company, during the 1980s.

The adult bookstore, owned by Terry Whitman-Shoultes, occupied part of the building at 209 N. Fourth Ave. beginning in 1980. There was also a massage parlor located upstairs.


An adult bookstore, the Danish News Company at 209 N. Fourth Avenue, was involved in an eight-year court battle with the City of Ann Arbor during the 1980s.

Ann Arbor News Archives

Shoultes opened Danish News nearly two years after the city added the adult entertainment ordinance to city code, and his store was cited for code violations several times. However, Shoultes continued to operate the business, according to documents from a lawsuit filed with the United States Court of Appeals’ Sixth Circuit Court in the 1980s.

In 1982, the city tried to ban the sale of adult material on the premises, but Shoultes continued to operate Danish News, triggering years of court battles between the city and Shoultes.

After eight years, the lease for the adult bookstore was eventually terminated when local developer Ed Shaffran of The Shaffran Companies purchased the building.

“Everybody wanted to rid the area of the bookstore and massage parlor, including the city,” Shaffran told “It was me who—on technicalities—got them on violations of their lease and evicted them.”

As the new building owner, Shaffran said he didn’t want the bookstore or massage parlor in his building, and he wanted to turn the Fourth Avenue reputation around.

“It certainly was not a desirable area,” he said. “I was cheered on because nobody wanted them there. There was certainly prostitution, and it was certainly a seedy section of town.”

Susan Wineberg, local historian and author of “Historic Buildings: Ann Arbor, Michigan,” said she tried to avoid Fourth Avenue during the 1980s even though she lived close to the area.

“I remember my mother was horrified that I lived so close to the raunchy neighborhood,” Wineberg said. “I’m not sure what the catalyst for change was, but once the Danish News left, things started changing.”

Ordinance is rarely enforced

Although Bongs & Thongs faces opposition from the city, Hassan said that people are just “doing their jobs” and he doesn’t feel singled out.

Ann Arbor city planner Matthew Kowalski pointed out that the city has “pretty strong standards that are well defined” in the code about adult entertainment businesses. He said it helps to nurture a prosperous and functional downtown.

Kowalski also said that the city rarely has to enforce the ordinance because it hasn’t been a recurring issue in downtown Ann Arbor.

“In the 11 years I’ve been here, this is the first time I’ve encountered something where we’ve had to test this ordinance or look into the details,” Kowalski said. “It just hasn’t been an issue.”

More than 20 years since terminating the lease for Fourth Avenue’s adult bookstore and massage parlor, developer Shaffran said he doesn’t feel too strongly about the opening of Bongs & Thongs.

“We are living in a free, open society,” Shaffran said. “If they’re paying their right taxes and are legally conforming, then I guess they have every right to be there.”

Shaffran recognized the concern some people have regarding the opening of Bongs & Thongs in relation to the old Fourth Avenue, but said it’s up to property owners to bring in quality tenants.

“I think there’s an assumption that if this comes then something similar will come, but we have to believe that adjacent property owners are conscious of the type of tenant they bring and how it will affect the geographical area,” Shaffran said.

Jim Chaconas, an Ann Arbor-based commercial real estate agent, agreed and said that the city shouldn’t have too big a role in regulating tenants.

“I don’t think it’s right for the city to dictate who your tenant should be or what your building should look like,” Chaconas said. “But do I want Bongs & Thongs next to me? No. But if people don’t want the store there, they won’t shop there and it won’t stay in business.”

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 10:41 p.m.

This store will be next to 826 Michigan or "The Robot Store" which tutors CHILDREN on writing. I think we need to adopt restrictions on the content of this store being sold within one block of a CHILDREN'S place of learning. I don't want to explain to my 8 year old daughter what a bong or a thong is.

Milton Shift

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:19 p.m.

Also, the world is not a G rated playground.

Milton Shift

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:17 p.m.

Great, then she will find out when she's 14 and no longer young enough to listen to talks about caution and moderation.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

there was a "love botique" type store on liberty in the space next to afternoon delight for several years, the name of which escapes me (I think there is a record store there now) it focused 95% on lingerie and 5% on lotions/oils. It never looked to have much business and seemed to be a front for something or at least a money laundering business. That is my best guess after the young lady that worked there stopped into my work several times. She said her boss never came in and never asked about sales and she read a complete book everyday and that it was the most boring job. You have to sell a lot of bongs and edible underware to cover expenses. I just don't see the level of interest. Between the shopping districts of Main St and South U, seems they would fare better on South U, closer to the student population and away from family area of main st.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

They have a love Boutique in Ypsilanti! Maybe they should be enticed to move here?

Bertha Venation

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

Gee Whiz, now where are we going to our porno?

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

I'd like to see a strip club open near downtown. Tired of going to Ypsilanti's De Ja Vu the time; need something a little closer.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

I don't believe my comment should have been removed. What I said was widely reported in state AND national news, in fact it was featured on a major network during a primetime news show LAST YEAR.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

Strip Club AND a McDonald's on Main Street.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

hey wookie, fyi, not necessarily the Vu, but several area strip clubs between ypsi and detroit (SEVERAL) have been investigated for sex trafficing and imprisionment. Literally hiring young ladies from overseas who speak little to no english under the guise of legitimate jobs, getting them to the US (often by falsifying visa applications for reasons coming here) only to keep 10+ girls in a house, charge them rent, driving them to and from "work" and forcing them to strip at clubs. So nice that men don't care that the woman "performing" may not want to be there or doing that but is a victim.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

This stuff makes me laugh. Ann Arbor as a city hasn't had liberal or progressive ideals in over a decade. ', not surprised it has an official "morality" law on the books. I also don';t believe the DDA, the city council or city government has an interest in LOCAL business anymore, given the number of national chains that have opened in the downtown area in recent years. Ann Arbor is now a Western Detroit suburb--like some of those in Western Oakland country and its values as reflected by its authorities are reflected in the choices it makes and outlaws. I'm glad I left.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

What a bunch of puritanical hogwash. What, the mayor only allows restaurants or coffee shops downtown? Royal Oak's downtown survives with Noir Leather...


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 10:56 a.m.

What a bummer. Now I am going to have to find a new place to do my Christmas shopping.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 4:45 a.m.

No one seem to think that the 'safe sex' shop on S. University has anything wrong with it. Why is that sex shop not closed down? It hasn't degenerated the neighborhood into a 'seedy' section of town. So, I ask you - why the hypocrisy? If it works fine in such a place as S. University; why does it not work on E. Liberty? The store on S. University is even open about what they sell. They don't close their windows and play all coy about it. There are plenty of children who play just across the street at the pinball arcade. I'd be suing the pants off the city over this uneven display of pseudo-puritanism.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

I agree with you about the doublespeak and discrimination; but I do think South U. has been seedy for at least ten years.

laura wolf

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:05 a.m.

i worked at fourth and washington from 73 to 78 or so. i think the description of how bad it was is way far from reality. i worked days and evenings and never had problem or worry walking home or going to capitol market for a snack. sure there were adult businesses right down the street but their customers didn't bother me and i never felt a need to pay any attention to them. i doubt any problems will arise from this new business except for parents being embarrased explaining something to their kids. relax and try working on a real problem once in a while.

Karen Sidney

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 4:08 p.m.

I agree. I worked in the area a few years later. The description of the area as a red light district seems quite exaggerated.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:48 a.m.

Weclcome to communist Ann Arbor. Czar Heifje, I mean mayor, welcomes you.

Milton Shift

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:13 p.m.

Not at all similar. If you call Obama "extreme left" then yes, perhaps similar, as he is wildly right wing.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 4:28 a.m.

You'd be surprised how similar the extreme right and the extreme left have become.

Milton Shift

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

These policies have nothing to do with the left.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

Liberals....some of the biggest hypocrites to walk the planet.

Milton Shift

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:10 a.m.

They aren't real liberals.

Antoine Dodson

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

Frankly, I'm pretty happy about this. I wasn't really interested in seeing 99% of Ann Arbor residents in thongs.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 11:11 p.m.

Well, one thing the city did right.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 10:02 p.m.

It is good for a community to have a discussion about what we will put up with and what we won't. I don't remember a public discussion on how much sleeze we were going to put up with back in the days when the image of Fourth Avenue was coming into being . I don't think the sleeze happened all of a sudden - but it was decisions over time that got it to its seedy state. It is right that the City tries to influence those decisions over time. The city is being vigilant with the laws on the books. Exercise your amendment rights and work to overturn the City's laws if you don't like them. And speaking of amendment rights, I remember being a student and photographing the building on the Corner of Fourth and Washington for a class. Some mean dude showed up and told me to put my camera away. Imagine that - some dude not happy that I might catch on film some of the action in town of him selling some of the Sisters of our Community for fun and profit. You'd almost think he was embarrassed or not proud. In his mind, his perceived right to sell the Sisters of our community trumped my right to photograph for my class. And so it goes with sleeze- the right of commerce comes to take precedence over the rights of others. So you could work to overturn those laws. Or you could stop to think that maybe the City and many others like it have seen the results of the slippery slope and would rather have a blunt, less-than-perfect law than have more of the old Fourth Ave reappear.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 9:58 p.m.

What I posted earlier was the 53% of women in the US say they own a "device designed for sexual stimulation". And I bet 100% of women under 30 own a thong, so I'm surprised anyone is complaining about the "thong" part of the store. Let's separate the illegal (pornography) from ordinary household objects and clothes.

Some Guy in 734

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Apparently 47% of women fib on surveys.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 9:50 p.m.

A city so far to the left it's come full circle to the right.

Milton Shift

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

Has nothing to do with the left. The real left is concerned with the creation of an egalitarian and truly democratic world, and leaves issues of sex, drugs, etc. to individuals to decide. The GOP (and the Dems...) won't acknowledge it, but socialists have far more respect for freedom than they ever have.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

Book burning tonight at the Diag. Be there!

J Shaker

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

bunch a squares


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 8:59 p.m.

Guess what? 53% of US women say they own a vibrator. (more than have a husband, if you are keeping track) Pleasuring oneself (and/or others) is not illegal, so why is the sale of such common household items even an issue here? The bongs, I can see that. The vibrators? not so much. This may even be a feminist issue -- come on, sisters! :)


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 8:42 p.m.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention.... When you purchase these local novelties, you'll also be indirectly supporting our regional efforts to further the battery industry. So, COME ON, fellow Michganders! Buy local, support local....and can I get a "YEEEESSSSSSSSSS MICHIGAN!!!!"?? Only if you're doin' it right! ;-)


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 4:10 a.m.

Local, schmokal .... I bet you most of these devices will come from China!


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 8:39 p.m.

I really think that everyone should go buy some novelties from this new business, have a lovely time at home, and release those years of pent-up frustration. HONESTLY!!! You'll feel a lot better. Nobody will get pregnant or diseases (be sure to clean your toys). Best of all, you'll be supporting your local economy. Keep it LOCAL! Peace...

Old Graduate Anne

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

Keep downtown Ann Arbor clean!

Peter Jameson

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:05 a.m.

Cleanliness is open to interpretation.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

That s a noble idea, but the street cleaners were laid off too.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

oh please people Ann Arbor needs to stop giving this place flack!!! im sure everyone has heard about adult parties like pure romance and maybe at one point attended one !! i was not there when the red light district was around but what does that have to do with today? nothing! if you dont want anything to do w the store DONT GO IN!! no one should be regulated on what they can and cant sell in a store, we are of an age of diversity and Ann Arbor shows it in more than one way.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

Oh come on ann Arbor, if that is the extent of the RED LIGHT district you are so afraid of, you are more sheltered in your caccoon than I thought possible. PULEEEZE. I used to shop at the Capital Market and walk by there often in the 70's, it was nothing. Ann st. was far more raunchy than 4th ever was. Buck up and let it be...raunchy

Cendra Lynn

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 7:19 p.m.

No, it was not the massage parlors that led to prostitutes in Fourth Ave. It was the johns. What happened to the men who posted a full page ad in the A2 News awhile back, saying they were no longer going to tolerate men mistreating women?


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

The Peoples Republic of Ann Arbor is still liberal when it comes to drugs such as marijuana and alcohol. They have no problem with thousands of underage kids wandering the streets drunk every night, especially during the precious football games. I've been downtown at night. The police could walk down any of the same streets used for the art fair and arrest dozens of kids and repeat the process every hour! But SEX, well that's a different story, soooo taboo.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

Puritanism: the haunting feeling that somebody, somewhere, is having more fun than you.

Ed Kimball

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

... or any fun at all!

Wilford John Presler IV

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

I like Bongs I like Thongs I like Bongs and Thongs To be politically correct in the STATE of affairs today maybe the owners could call it... "Meds and Threads"


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Is anyone in Ann Arbor aware of the fact that teenagers, students and others are purchasing highly toxic mind-altering drugs legally at local "head shops", and elsewhere. These "designer drugs", such as "Bath Salts", aka "Potpourri", and others too numerous to mention, are being churned out so quickly, and their chemical properties are constantly being altered, it has become impossible for lawmakers and law enforcement to declare them to be illegal. Does anyone ever notice the dazed and confused looks on the faces of some kids and students in downtown A2? Surely, it is not just me. And YET, everyone is concerned about ONE store, with a catchy name, selling items to use for smoking weed, and adult products used for sexual stimulation? WAKE UP, Ann Arbor! These legal drugs are reportedly being manufactured by former Pfizer chemists, and are cheap and easily obtained by CHILDREN! Where ARE your priorities?!

Milton Shift

Wed, Aug 10, 2011 : 11:56 p.m.

Also, I'm unaware of any cases of these drugs killing anyone - every one I've heard of reminded me of a marijuana freakout, "Oh my god I'm totally dying mannn" with no evidence of any harm done. Not that I support their use, but I think there's a bit of hysteria on the subject lately.

Milton Shift

Wed, Aug 10, 2011 : 11:55 p.m.

You said that it's impossible to control them legally, and continue to complain that they're legal. What are you trying to say? Do you want the city council to try to ban them?


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:24 p.m.

To further clarify, Milton, these deadly drugs are being sold LEGALLY in local shops that are already open and in business.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 11:21 p.m.

Milton, my point was about priorities. Bongs are used for an illegal, non-addictive drug...marijuana...which WILL eventually be legalized. The big Brouhaha on this thread is that people are more concerned about a store selling sexual items, and yet dangerous designer drugs which are legal is NEVER mentioned. Does that clear it up for ya'?

Milton Shift

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:05 a.m.

You state that all legal attempts to control these substances have failed while criticizing the city government for failing to attempt to control them with legislation...

Wilford John Presler IV

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:40 p.m.

My Gawd Bill you old prude of a wash-woman... Me thinks you should go home... Do a couple bong hits... and dig out a couple of yer old Hustler magazines... for old time sake....


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:32 p.m.

I am not surprised to note that this business has become the topic of discussion. The controversy is generated by the nature of things it proposed to sell. Things like 'Stem Cells' also generate a similar discussion. The business has no first amendment rights and the intention of 'free enterprise' does not include unrestrained freedom to exploit market conditions. We had attacks on women in recent times. We do not describe or understand the nature of such attacks as isolated incidents that involve certain parts of the human anatomy. We feel concerned about the human person that is attacked. There will be problem if a business wants to sell simulated body parts. It encourages an attitude that the human person is merely a composite of different body parts, and the parts could be used selectively for purposes of sense gratification. However, such parts are available for sale from other retail outlets and the City has a duty to restrict the establishment of a business in certain areas of the City to maintain the character of the Business District. The sale of alcohol, and tobacco is further restrained by Laws that exist. We should not allow market conditions like demand and supply to govern the business practices. We have laws to protect labor and it is reasonable to have laws or rules to defend public interests and concerns about market development.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

It is amazing how any story, no matter how trivial, seems to bring out so much gall and ire. There seem to be a group of readers who use this blog as a place to vent for whatever ails them. I suppose it is cheaper than therapy. This is not a very interesting development--yes, the whole project is sadly tacky, and even the owner has little faith that it will survive for long, since he only took out a one year lease. This will be a pathetic business; more people will go in to giggle and be photographed, especially after a few sugary, equally tacky cocktails, than will actually buy anything. A year from now it will be gone. It is not the best location for such a place, and I hope that its presence will not hurt other businesses, but such is the nature of free commerce. The landlord will get his (probably outlandish) rent and the world will continue. 4th Ave will not revert .... It will do less harm than some of the equally tacky bars in the neighborhood.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

A famous sociological study, that is associated with what is popularly known as the "broken windows' theory, demonstrates that when a neighborhood is allowed to physically deteriorate ( the 'broken windows'), it's downhill slide escalates incrimentally. That can also be true of a business atmosphere.....and re "moonmaidens' comment that if a place doesnt have an audience it'll fold: If it DOES have an audience the neighborhood will fold too.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

That may be true. Look at Liberty Plaza.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5 p.m.

Who voted for these "TEA PARTY/Ultra-CHRISTIANS" that we call our City Council? Next thing you know the city council will take away the women's right to choose, place the tax burden on the poor and elderly and destroy the planet. Please vote for Diversity in November!

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

"No one liked it. No one," Just because YOU don't like does not mean EVERYONE does too. Speak for yourself!

Wilford John Presler IV

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

I liked it....


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

This, at a time when dildoes and vibrators grace the Health pages of the Vermont Country Store catalog? Ann Arbor has really gotten conservative. Kinda scary.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:48 p.m.

Bedrog, she is not kidding.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

as an ex-vermonter ,youre kidding ,right??


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 4:09 p.m.

Don't know what the product was going to be but adult novelties could be anything from sexy underway to gag gifts, not necessarily sex toys. Since everyone seems to still be living in the 1970's and 1980's do any of you remember a place called Spencers Gifts? I would call that an adult novelty store and it was in a mall. As for the comments in this article from different people that nobody wanted those oh so offensive stores along fourth back in the '70's and '80's why were they in business? Apparently somebody wanted them there because if nobody ever went in to make purchases they wouldn't have lasted very long. Perhaps the "nobody" who wanted them there was a small group of politically connected people who like to tell other people how they should live their lives. For a town that is supposed to be such a liberal and easy going place to live, it sure seems to have an abundance of up tight, overly intrusive, holier than thou kibitzers.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

Very well said Steve. I agree totally.

Jon Saalberg

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

Just for acccuracy, the car in the middle of the first photo, an Acura Integra, was not available in the U.S. until 1986, so the picture is more likely from 1986.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:46 p.m. doesn't fact check or even proofread so you're wasting your time trying to ask them to do so...


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

Is this about a zoning ordiance or communal mores?


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

I personally don't believe that one shop of this sort will create a domino effect and take us right back to the 70's and 80's of 4th Avenue. As other people have brought up, there are shops selling the same things in the area and in respectable towns in America... places that haven't become seedy criminal havens. The community as a majority seemingly judging this shop before it even opens is disappointing to me. It has nothing to do with being "liberal" or whatever the opposite is now days... it's a sense of overreacting that bothers me. I think the biggest mistake this owner made, as he mentioned, may have been naming his business what he did. Seems like a lot of folks are conjuring up vivid displays, prostitutes, and junkies next to their kids eating ice cream downtown. If this name hadn't caught the eye of reporters, I doubt anyone would even blink an eye about a new business downtown. "But if people don't want the store there, they won't shop there and it won't stay in business." This is a key point for me, and I agree. At the end of the day, if people here don't dig it, it won't stay around anyhow. And like someone else pointed out, the internet is a powerful tool - especially in a modest sized town. I don't see one little shop drawing massive amounts of out of town sex addicts or something of that sort. So if it "succeeded", it would probably be just a number of adults and a few college kids goofing off. I don't think it's as big a deal as it's being made out to be. (And who knows - store COULD use good judgement with displays and just be a silly and fun place for some people.) As a parent, I'm not crazy at all about one day walking my kid past a storefront selling/advertising things I disagree with - be it in town or anywhere. But that's life. I don't expect everyone to live according to my set of rules. Having said that, I also respect the city if the city is speaking in behalf of the majority of it's citizens. We shall see what happen

Brad McNett

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

"I don't want people to think negatively about my store." Then you probably shouldn't call it "Bongs and Thongs."

marlean leach

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:11 p.m.

OMG!!!!~ what a bunch of two-faced morons.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

This is hilarious. This outburst in re B&Ts is not about sex, porn or marijuana use it's about B&T being tacky. Ann Arborites hate tacky. Since most of them I'll wager get their "adult items" off the internet they see no need for this sort of place (cuz it's tacky!) and will no doubt demand expensive and a constitutionally dubious legal action by the city to close it.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

Let them set up and shop and we'll see what happens? I bet that for the first three months, they'll be a curiousity followed by totally ignored by the locals with the exception of some students and out-of-towners. The business will languish.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

Brad, they haven't OPENED yet!?


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

No, comparing a store that would sell apples and oranges to an apple store and an orange store. And pointing out that they seem to have stayed in business for quite a while and don't seem to be "languishing". It's actually pretty simple.

Wolf's Bane

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

Ha! Comparing apples and oranges again, Brad?


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

They will go out of business just like the Safe Sex Store and Stairway to Heaven did. Oh, wait a minute ...


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

*laughs* Stamoulis needs to enter-into the 2000's and leave the smutty 70s far, far behind. The toy and novelty stores of today are a far-cry from the 70s versions. Good grief! Prostitutes in Ann Arbor? I doubt they'd get any business, just go to any of the Main St. bars and pick up someone for free...


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:57 p.m.

I grew up in Ann Arbor in the 60's and have lived in or near the city all my adult life. I'd like to remind people that we had adult stores all over town you just had to know where they were, does The Blue Front ring a bell with anyone? And you had head shops everywhere too and we survived. Now I laugh at this city and the inane ideas that come out now. Let's allow people to sell "medical" marijuana and drug paraphernalia, but let's not have any sex out there. Let's layoff police and fire personal and then wring our hands about a possible serial rapist, but it'll ok because the mayor thinks we need more public funded art. I guess I don't get the thinking in Ann Arbor anymore so that's why I live out in a township.

Urban Sombrero

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

Aw, man, this is a bummer. I guess I'll have to keep going to Ypsi for my monthly sex toy run.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

Maxwell Pleasure: Your original comment was about Ypsi. ....only...and about red light distrits. Not crime rates in general. (Note; Crime rate does not equl number or crimes, you need to divide by something). And also, not some comparison to AA or if 5 hookers = 1 strong arm robbery or whatever. Generally, if you read my old posts, I am a bit of a chearleader for Depot Town etc. However, I am not a fan of BS. Pretending there are no hookers in Ypsi is BS, you know it and so does everyone else here. &quot;What motivates this?&quot; Your post, that's what. See the above paragraph. Now, if you want to compare real DATA, go here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> and here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Where you will discover that Ypsi's crime RATE is more than double AAs. Since you brought up rape, please note that Ypsi had 24 in the last year recorded, while AA had 29, but wait! Ypsi's population is 24K, while AAs is 112k for the same year, for a RATE of 112.3/100000 for Ypsi, vs. 25.4 for AA. So, thems the facts.


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

&quot;66 serious crimes were reported in Ann Arbor for the week of July 24, including one aggravated assault and two strong armed robberies.&quot; <a href=""></a> I guess a serial rapist is small potatoes compared to a gaggle of hookers that are prevalently in ypsi township - not ypsi proper. And yet I'm sure people will continue to bash Ypsi. One wonders what motivates this?


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

Barely scratched the surface, Ms. Sombrero.

Urban Sombrero

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:44 a.m.

Jeez, EyeHeartA2, you sure do your research, don't you? hehe


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 1:11 a.m.

&quot;And yet no red light district... Just want to set the record straight for all the Ypsi detractors&quot; - well, maybe it just isn't all that confined to a particular &quot;district&quot;: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a>


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

I just wanted to point out that I thought this was a funny thread. lol Thank you!


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

And yet no red light district... Just want to set the record straight for all the Ypsi detractors...

Urban Sombrero

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

@Maxwell Pleasurable: No, but they do have a Lover's Lane.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

CVS or Walgreens has them - Or you can order them from the Vermont Country Store and Amazon. Ypsilanti doesn't have a porn district - sorry.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

Ypsilanti likes dildos so much, we've put up a giant dildo shaped water tower on the highest point in town so you can see it from pretty much everywhere!!! It is one reason why I LOVE Ypsilanti and am glad that I live here and not in Ann Arbor.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

Those were the days.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:25 p.m.

I wonder if any of the people who are concerned about this store being the harbinger of a new red light district have ever heard of a little thing called The Internet. There is where your red light district is and where it likely will remain. The world has changed a lot since the 70's and 80's.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there places Downtown that sell as &quot;novelties&quot; pasta in the shape of certain body parts? I'm just trying to figure out where the line is between seventeenth century puritanical attitudes and hypocrisy. And interesting that while we're all nervous about Michigan's economic future, some people are discouraging new business growth. I wasn't here when 4th was a red light district, but considering what's left of diverse and unique businesses Downtown, Bongs and Thongs doesn't strike me as any different than some of the &quot;edgier&quot; of those. This is not like some of the places I have passed on Eight Mile or true &quot;red light&quot; areas. C'mon, people, this is Ann Arbor and most people here have brains. Surely most of you know the difference between a novelty store that &quot;pushes the envelope&quot; a bit versus adult book stores, don't you?


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

Agreed. Also, 4th ave. wasn't any more run-down than the rest of downtown Ann Arbor in the 70s and 80s...on weekends you could hear a pin-drop it was so barren of people.

Jeremy Peters

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

It is completely asinine that this guy is intent on opening a store such as this right near 826michigan, a non-profit serving kids ages 6-18. Drop-in tutoring and programming happens nearly every day at 826, and the kind of trash that this store will bring is not just disrespectful, but vile.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

*Facepalm* I really hate to break it to you guys....but in MOST cases, children are still conceived via sexual intercourse. It's an act of nature, and it's shocking, I know. To put a finer point on it--YOUR parents had sex. And, if you have children, well...YOU had sex, too (or at least the odds lie strongly in favor of this). However people choose to flavor the experience, (vanilla or using blindfolds) is up to the individuals involved. Just like where you choose to spend your dollars. You make your choices, and allow me to make mine. After all....we're all adults here *cough*


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

And right in that same neighborhood there are places that serve alcohol. Oh no, the kids what will we do. Answer this question; is sex bad? Are people who enjoy sex bad? I think your diatribe is far more vile and corrupt than anything a shop owner could do

Woman in Ypsilanti

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:49 p.m.

I am not sure it is safe to assume that every parent in the world wants to shelter their children from marijuana any more than they shelter their children from other drugs such as alcohol. 826Michigan is in close proximity to several places which serve alcohol after all. As for sex, again I am not sure that every parent wants to pretend that sex is some kind of nasty dirty thing that can't be out in the open in any way. Heck, in many homes the parents themselves engage regularly in such activities and then parade the end result of their unprotected sex down the local sidewalks as they walk to places like 826michigan ;)

Urban Sombrero

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children! **clutches pearls**

rusty shackelford

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

I agree. No good writer ever smoked weed or had sex.

Walid Yassir

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

Look at what has happened on South U! You have the &quot;Safe Sex&quot; shop and just a few feet away a &quot;Hookah&quot; shop. Prostitutes now walk the streets of South U, wearing extremely short shorts and seductive skin tight tops!. Now you are going to put &quot;Safe Sex&quot; and &quot;Hookahs&quot; in the same store?! People will be fornicating in the streets! Wake up Ann Arbor, Wake Up! The real Hookahs are coming! Maybe he should change the name to Hookers and Hookahs - at least we would know what we were in for!

Walid Yassir

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

Really - college students? You think?


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 4:47 p.m.

Oh my goodness. I did not know that Ann Arbor could be so exciting! I guess it's been too long since my last visit.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Those aren't scantily clad prostitutes on South university. They are college students. Wake up and smell the 21st century.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1 p.m.

There is this building down the street, where they sell fantasies and indulge in wicked activities with the public money that is borderline criminal - smoking our tax dollars out of their new giant glass bong of a building. It's called City Hall. Someone throw a Stop Work order on that building, would you? Oh, wait. That would assume they ARE working to maximize the return on my tax dollars.

Ron Granger

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

Is the condom store still on S. University? I think they sold uhh, "devices of simulated human genitals or devices designed for sexual stimulation".. What percentage of Ann Arbor homes contain &quot;devices designed for sexual stimulation&quot;? I'd guess many. Oh, it's a massager? Umm, ok. Nobody wants a seedy district or vibe in Ann Arbor. But there should be a middle ground, and we shouldn't pretend these items aren't being sold at major chain drugstores everywhere.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 6:39 p.m.

Lol, Ron, that's the same store I'm talking about. :)


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

So the Safe Sex Store is ok but this store is being frowned upon? Double standard much?


Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

A2_Wookie, I would agree with that, but they stated that the vibrators were the problem not the drug paraphernalia

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

Very different markets? Recreational sex versus recreational drug use?


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

It's a zoning thing. It's only prohibited downtown in the downtown &quot;Cool City Theme Park&quot; area.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

I could open a radical book store in downtown Ann Arbor and fill the windows with Leftist Posters (I could not do a Right Wing one, and still have windows). I could open a Hydroponics store and fill the windows with posters of quasi-legal plants. If the store was just &quot;Bongs&quot; there would be no issue. If it was a Frederick's of Hollywood with the displays in the windows of some of their outfits, no problem. But anything that smacks of actual sex - its a problem. Ann Arbor is liberal alright! So long as the direction fits the nice neat standard liberal position of the city. If you are outside the liberal lines, you are in trouble. You must follow the Ann Arbor Manifesto, Chairman (Mayor) Hieftje' little red book or you will be sentenced to the manual labor and walking to school from the townships.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

Ann Arbor probably lost its true liberal and progressive self at about this time. Liberalism doesn't line up in neat and tidy houses with 2 cars in the garage and a golden retriever in the back yard. It doesn't have grass 4.25&quot; inches tall or a lack of visible garbage or taxes for government selected art, or huge monuments to city hall with water features. It doesn't have sterile downtowns with mainly entertainment and eating venues instead of grocery stores or hardware stores.. And it certainly isn't devoid of sex. I am not a fan of red light districts and bongs(or thongs) aren't on my shopping list. But the NIMBY attitude in this article makes it clear and Ann Arbor is far from the city it used to be.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

I don't own a dog.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

Ann Arbor invoking puritan-esque laws to ban the sale of dildos and vibrators? The irony is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

Wilford John Presler IV

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

Better to use a Machete

John A2

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

I'm not ever going to shop there, but there is a thing in this country that's called &quot;FREE ENTERPRISE&quot;. If we are able to stop this store to open then where does it stop. Why don't we just invoke a Communist System, I mean if we close a store because it doesn't meat our class of taste, then lets just have one idea and one outlook on what &quot;freedom of enterprise&quot; means.

Terry Brennan

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

Free markets are great, but we're talking about the right of a community to impose standards and decide its own fate. If the people that pay the taxes here don't want their kids navigating the degenerate clientele of 'Bongs &amp; Thongs' while enjoying a nice night downtown, there should be a mechanism in place to prevent such unpleasantness. The other side of the argument seems to be based on the profound assertion that &quot;This is Ann Arbor, man!&quot; In the face of such stunning logic, let's call a trashy place what it is and encourage the city to throw the book at them whenever possible.

Some Guy in 734

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

I've said it before and I'm saying it now. Ahhh, boo hoo. Fourth Avenue always got the bad reputation, but I seem to recall that kids going to see &quot;ET&quot; or &quot;Back to the Future&quot; at the State would navigate their way past State Discount, where they sold all types of smoking gadgets, and cigarettes for under a buck on Mondays. The world didn't end. The pendulum swung, or rather, the tide went out. Now the nattering King Cnuts think they can prevent it just by shouting it down? This is all so much click fodder, and I've fallen for it too. Someone nudge me when there's an actual problem to worry about.

Terry Brennan

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:15 a.m.

First of all, I didn't think up zoning laws all by myself this morning. There's no fast-food downtown because of similar regulations. Secondly, children are a great reason to ban all kinds of things (most of which are already illegal) and I WILL protect them at the expense of EVERYONE else including myself. I love Gay people, Muslims, and those who buy the kinds of things they sell at Bongs and Thongs. It's just clearly not appropriate to open a store that celebrates explicit sexuality and illegal drug use next to the Ice cream shop and the drop-in tutoring center. For expressing this point of view, it is suggested that my children literally be taken from me by the government! Irony much?


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 3:02 p.m.

So if the community &quot;standard&quot; is you do not want your child to see gay men and women, or you do not want them to see muslims (it could confuse them), or you don't want them to see people using alcoholic beverages then it is ok? Wow thank you so much for protecting the kids. It is a HUGE lie and NO, you do not have the right to protect your kids at the expense of others. Any person using children as the reason to ban something are not good parents and should have their children removed for not properly monitoring them.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Whoops, a typo. I mean to say ...why is prejudice against people who want to spice up their sex lives with a toy or two UNacceptable?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

So it would be ok if Ann Arbor decided that they didn't like minorities and imposed standards designed to keep them out? Surely there needs to be some kind of limits on how far a community can go as far as imposing standards. If the tax paying parents don't want their children navigating the &quot;degenerate&quot; clientele of a gay bar, would that be ok? If not, why is prejudice against people who want to spice up their sex lives with a toy or two acceptable?

Linda Peck

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

I doubt that such a store would add much to the cultural mix in Ann Arbor. If these types of stores were such a fine draw of clientele, why do the streets where they set up shop seem so seedy after a few minutes?


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Often, businesses such as these are driven out of the &quot;better&quot; parts of town (i.e. not allowed to set up there at all) because of some trumped up &quot;moral outrage&quot; and such...even though the majority of our law-abiding population will frequent such businesses online regularly once home. The sex industry does very well, whether you wish to admit it openly or not. Anyway, that leaves the aspiring business owner no choice but to open up shop in the parts of town that are less noticeable &amp; less frequented...where the power elite don't openly frequent as much. Places where &quot;moral&quot; citizens don't &quot;have&quot; to look the other way or think too hard. Kind of like a moral dumping ground, where most Ann Arborites would also love to stick the homeless population. In other words, the SEEDIER parts of town. They don't CREATE the filth, they are RESIGNED to it to begin with. And then they fit in with the scene. Intolerance isn't new. This is just how it goes.

Matt Cooper

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:55 p.m.

One mans poison is another mans honey. Just because you don't apparantly think such a store would offer anything doesn't make it so. So long as they operate within the law they have every right to set up shop.

John A2

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

It's all in your head.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

I was surprised to see that this store is opening 2 doors east of the Robot Store/826michigan which caters to young children through high school. Does anyone have a problem with this?

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Just wait until Hooters comes to town.

Milton Shift

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 8:19 p.m.

I do. Sex is evil and pot kills. Please don't turn my kids into dead demons.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

Depending on the window displays - maybe and maybe not. A business in an area that has an adult focus is seldom a problem. Several together are. Look at the Lover's Lane stores around. Most offer items that are probably banned in downtown Ann Arbor, they are clean, well lit and the window displays are careful - you can see worse in Brierwood sometimes.

John A2

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

Yeah! It's called free enterprise.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

So much for progressive aditudes in liberal Ann Arbor.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

Try not mowing your lawn for awhile. You'll quickly find the limits of &quot;liberal&quot; and &quot;progressive&quot; in Ann Arbor.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 11:39 a.m.

Couple of things missing from the story. 1 Ed Shaffren did NOT purchase the buidings and close down the bookstores. There were 2 adult bookstores Danish News and The Velvet Touch. The Velvet touch was a booksstore and offered massages on the second foor . The Velvet Touch had an under age girl working there, and the city made them a deal to close and they would not proceed with any charges. Once the Velvet touch cloesed, Danish News eventually closed. 2. It was the massage parlors that encourage the prostitues to roam the streets. I dont think Bongs and Things will bring prostitues to the area. A2-AA

Milton Shift

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 11:38 a.m.

I didn't know Ann Arbor was the capital of Iran.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

I must have missed the beheadings for being an infidel, the stonings for adultery and the oppression of women that has been happening in Ann Arbor. Plus, Mayor John would think that Iran has nicer public art than Ann Arbor.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

Iran? Really????


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 11:06 a.m.

I would hate to see the 4th Avenue situation come back again in Ann Arbor. While I'm a very strong supporter of 1st Amendment rights including a store's right to sell what they want to but good riddance to the old red light district. I applaud the city for being vigilant in trying to keep a strip like that from returning.

Ann English

Mon, Aug 8, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

I remember the adult bookstore right across Fourth Avenue from a donor plasma center in the eighties, and being unhappy about it. When the plasma center moved to Michigan Avenue, I was glad not to see any porn shop around it.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 5:45 p.m.

Why are you against the free market? Bongs &amp; Thongs will create jobs and increase city and state revenue (taxes).

Woman in Ypsilanti

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

I am the same way. I am also a very strong supporter of the first amendment speech rights until someone says something that I don't like. Then, like you, I think the government should shut them up or close their store or whatever.

John A2

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

What fourth ave situation. I was there too, and I didn't see any open sex or law breaking going on. Alls I remember was a big fat prostitute who would walk up and down fourth ave. I thought it was comedy relief


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 10:55 a.m.

"No one liked it. No one," Stamoulis said. If that was true, I'm guessing the businesses would have gone out of business quickly. The fact that they lasted as long as they did at least hints that there is some demand out there. However, I'm never one to let facts get in the way!

John A2

Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

Speak for yourself.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 11:32 a.m.

They had not yet opened for business.


Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 11:30 a.m.

The demand came from the folks that they wanted out of the area.