Crimmins addresses juice bar rumors

The clock is ticking on whether or not a former adult entertainment business in downtown Fort Dodge could potentially be turned into a so-called juice bar.

The building at 520 Central Ave., which once housed Touch of Class, remains vacant. City attorney Mark Crimmins said there have been no requests to open a juice bar there, despite rumors.

“The city hasn’t been asked to issue a license or building permit or anything like that,” Crimmins said. “We haven’t gotten anything for remodeling.”

A juice bar is a strip club that does not serve alcoholic beverages.

“Originally it was thought that once the establishment was closed that you couldn’t reopen it after 30 days,” Crimmins said, referring to Touch of Class, which closed earlier this year. “But our zoning ordinance has two separate codes. The first deals with a business not reopening after 30 days, which involves property with a minor building.”

A minor building is defined as a property that takes $1,000 or less to replace.

“Property with a building on it has 12 months,” Crimmins said. “My understanding is that Touch of Class has not been out of operation for more than 12 months.”

Crimmins said there aren’t many city regulations that would prevent a juice bar from opening in Fort Dodge. In fact, Crimmins said, the only regulation addresses zoning.

“That is that they can’t be within 150 feet of the right of way of Central Avenue,” he said.

Adult entertainment businesses that already exist in the city predate the zoning regulation.

“Those are grandfathered in under the law,” Crimmins said.

Because juice bars don’t serve alcohol, Crimmins said such a business would only have to comply with laws that exist for any other type of business.

“Other than following the zoning ordinance to make sure they’re following the code, they don’t have to do anything different,” he said. “Because they’re a juice bar, there are no restrictions regarding a liquor license.”

Restrictions for alcohol are handled by the state, according to Crimmins.