Could a strip club be coming to Congress Avenue?

A strip club along Congress Avenue, just a couple blocks from the state capitol.

Could that tarnish Austin's reputation?

Many people are saying yes.

It's not a surprise that downtown Austin is a prime location for business owners, but it's an application that was recently filed with the city that has people talking.

Kruger's Diamond Jewelers has been on Congress Avenue for several decades.

They've seen many changes throughout the years, but the possibility of a strip club opening up comes as a shock.

"Well I would certainly hope that Congress Avenue would not become the mega-center for men's clubs," says David Kruger, Owner of Kruger's Diamond Jewelers.

The City of Austin recently received an application for a site plan at 422 Congress Avenue.

Currently in that spot is a multi-story building with four bars.

One of those bars is where MB & MS Enterprises Incorporated, is hoping to open up a strip club.

"You don't know what kind of crowd it's going to attract and what the repercussions are from having an establishment like that, where you have women that are scantily clad and stuff like that. You just don't know," says Kruger.

The applicant tells FOX 7 he formerly owned Down in Texas Saloon in Round Rock and sold it to Rick's Cabaret.

Now his plan is to bring that same concept to Austin.

"Umm, unnecessary actually. I think they should keep the downtown pretty historic," says Darlene Friedman, resident.

One big concern with having a strip club at 422 Congress Avenue is what's directly across the street.

The Mexic-Arte Museum hosts children every day for school programming.

They are not in support and will be meeting with the Downtown Austin Alliance on Friday to look over the application and express their concerns.

This would also cause a major problem for the planning and development of the 5th Street Mexican American Heritage Corridor.

It's a project that would run from Republic Square to Saltillo Plaza and recognize past contributions of the Mexican American community.

The Paramount State Theatre and the state capitol is also of concern with the Downtown Austin Alliance as they host school children as well.

"This is the main street of Texas and you know, the capitol is at the end of the street and it's a pretty wide boulevard. It makes a statement about the state of Texas, and to have an establishment like that on congress, I think the guy made a poor choice saying 'I want to open up on congress,'" says Kruger.

Others don't necessarily see it as a bad idea.

"They say 'keep Austin weird;' you don't have to try very hard," says Christian Harmonson, UT student.

Christian Harmonson says it's a good location for people who frequent downtown.

"The college crowd, being so close to UT, I think you could find a could of young people hanging out here," says Harmonson.

According to the code of ordinances for the City of Austin:

An adult oriented business may not be located on a lot that is within 1,000 feet of a lot on which a school, church, public park, playground, or licensed day-care center is located.

Here are some places that might fall into question:

  • Republican Square Park - 422 Guadalupe St.
  • Brush Square Park - 409 East 5th Street
  • Mexic-Arte Museum - 419 Congress Avenue
  • Paramount Theatre - 713 Congress Avenue
  • Contemporary Austin - 700 Congress Avenue
  • Central Presbyterian Church - 200 East 8th Street

The application for a site plan requires approval by a Land Use Commission.

The commission may not take action until a public hearing is held.

That has yet to be scheduled.

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