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Local business owners oppose strip club

Milford, MA- Local businesses are speaking out against the possibility of an adult entertainment establishment coming to Rte. 16 in Mendon.

Sue Swanson, owner of the Mendon Drive-In, said she was glad to see the Board of Selectmen reject the Showtime Entertainment license.

“I run a family business,” she said. “It would be horrific to see an adult entertainment establishment in Mendon.”

Swanson said on any given night, there are hundreds of children at the drive-in.

“It is the last thing I want to see for those kids,” she said. “Predators are drawn to adult entertainment businesses and it does not belong in Mendon.”

It will be a sad day when a strip club comes to town, Swanson said.

“I will support a fight … against this,” she said. “Our police department is not equipped to handle the crime rate a business like this brings. It was proven by the citizens of Mendon at the public hearing.”

The opposition to the strip club speaks volumes on the issue, Swanson said.

“I think I speak for 98 percent of Mendon when I say we do not want this,” she said. “We feel strongly about it and hope and pray that it does not come to our town.”

The Drive-In first opened in 1954, and Swanson has been running it for 22 years.

“The drive-in was here first,” Swanson said. “Why should I have to move my business for this?”

Swanson said she knows the establishment has a First Amendment right to exist; however, she would like to see the issue on a ballot.

“A business like this always impacts a community,” she aid. “Let the townspeople speak about this, and let the chips fall where they may.”

Swanson said she thinks that the issue of adult entertainment establishments in general should be on a statewide ballot.

“They’ve cleaned up Boston and even Times Square in New York because of what strip clubs bring,” she said.

Judy Leonelli, owner of Century 21 Millenium on Rte. 16 and School Committee chairwoman, said she is hoping the town will pass bylaws that will make it impossible for an adult entertainment establishment to open.

“Clearly no one wants this – I don’t,” she said. “Though I’m not sure it would affect my business because it is located quite a distance away.”

Leonelli said a strip club might detract families from coming to Mendon.

“Obviously a strip club is not the image we want for our town,” she said.


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