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Baltimore's "Block" pushes back on proposed curfew

Adult entertainment establishments say businesses at stake
Baltimore's "Block" pushes back on proposed curfew
Posted at 4:10 PM, Jan 21, 2022

BALTIMORE — Putting a red light on crime in the red light district---an attempt to cut down crime in Baltimore’s centralized adult entertainment zone is drawing push back from the “Block”.

“You have eight other clubs all over Baltimore. Why is it just us?” said Dolly Brown, a worker at Club Pussycat, “You have violence at the casino, but you don’t hear that.”

The city’s legislative delegation headed up by Senate President Bill Ferguson wants to make the 15 businesses on the short stretch of Baltimore Street, which have adult entertainment and liquor licenses to close early each day after 800 calls for police services last year, including 11 shootings.

RELATED: Law proposes shutting down "The Block" in Baltimore City by 10 each night

“They have failed at getting this situation under control,” said Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello It is unfair to all of the neighborhoods that I have named that they can’t have adequate police resources, because half of the entire BPD Central deployment is focused on one block.”

The proposed legislation would impose a 10 o’clock curfew, and workers here say it would knock them out of their busiest four hours, in effect, putting them out of business.”

Businesses, which claim politicians have been trying to clear them out for years, most recently, by withholding relief money from them during the pandemic.

“We didn’t get any help from COVID. We were exempt, because we are strip clubs,” said Club Pussycat Co-Owner Billy Wantland, “Nine months… almost a year closed, paying property tax, insurance, water bill, BGE---I mean all the taxes and no help. This is ridiculous. How do you put us out of business?”