RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The sex shop chain Hustler Hollywood plans to open a new store across the street from the Children’s Museum of Richmond and Science Museum of Virginia, a move that museum leaders say “does not feel in the spirit” of the city’s development goals.
Hustler Hollywood, which the chain describes as “an upscale, modern erotic boutique,” will replace the former Pizza Hut across the museums at 2343 W. Broad St in the Fan District. Some of the permits filed with the city have been approved, while others are still under review.
Danielle Ripperton, the Children’s Museum of Richmond’s executive director, and Richard Conti, the Science Museum of Virginia’s chief wonder officer, said in a joint statement that they are working to learn more about the store and questioned whether the shop’s location is in line with the city’s plans.
“This retailer in this location does not feel in the spirit of the Pulse Corridor Plan or the Richmond 300 plan, which seeks to find the highest and best use for development in this area, particularly adjacent to two community institutions that serve hundreds of thousands of families and children each year,” the statement said.
City Councilwoman Katherine Jordan represents the area and says her office has talked with residents, neighborhood stakeholders and city departments “to understand the relevant local laws and regulations and how they apply in this instance, as well as to ensure that they are being applied fairly and with all necessary due diligence.”
Jordan’s office told 8News in Richmond that the Hustler Hollywood store doesn’t need the city council’s approval to open because it is not considered an adult entertainment business or bookstore. The application filed with the city defined the shop as a general retail store, according to the city’s Department of Planning and Development Review.
Hustler Hollywood’s business description for the shop says “there will be no adult books, magazines or DVD’s” at the location and 80% of its floor space would be for items such as lingerie, t-shirts, novelty candy and condoms. The other 20% of its products would be in the adult novelty area, including “anatomically correct massagers, bullets, dildos” or other similar products, according to the filing.
Jordan’s office said the councilwoman has connected neighborhood stakeholders with Hustler Hollywood.