As Downtown Goes Residential, Nashville Rethinks Where To Allow Strip Clubs

Oct 5, 2016

Nashville is mulling the future of sexually oriented businesses. The so-called “adult entertainment district” in downtown and parts of Midtown and Sobro has been the only area in the county that allows strip clubs and adult shops.

This was triggered in part by Déjà Vu — one of just four remaining strip clubs.

This establishment was looking to move, and sold its highly visible building on Demonbreun Street, located between The Gulch and Music Row.

In response, Councilman Freddie O’Connell suggested outlawing new clubs in areas zoned for high-density residential buildings, which are increasingly being proposed.

Déjà Vu prepared for a fight, said lobbyist Tracy O’Neill.

“The timing of this ordinance is highly suspect,” she said. “This is a constitutionally-protected business and this ordinance has a great potential of infringing on First Amendment rights.”

Other adult businesses have used free speech arguments to protect their operations.

Yet Déjà Vu’s particular battle now appears moot. The club quickly bought property and got permits to move a few blocks over to 1418 Church Street, according to Metro Codes records.

O’Neill said the owners will take part in community discussions about changing the adult entertainment district, which officials anticipate after further study by the Metro Planning Department. A planning spokesman said it was too soon to comment.