"Juliet's" Strip Club Nears Probation's End, Neighbors Wary
Six months after Juliet's Gentlemen's Club agreed to operate under certain restrictions, which were imposed after multiple nearby shootings, the strip club's probation period is nearly over - without incident. But neighborhood residents are still wary.
Friday, June 19th 2015, 12:02 AM EDT
Friday, June 26th 2015, 12:02 AM EDT
Six months after Juliet's Gentlemen's Club agreed to operate under certain restrictions, which were imposed after multiple nearby shootings, the strip club's probation period is nearly over - without incident.
But neighborhood residents are still wary.
"It's still a dark spot in our neighborhood. We're still waiting for the next thing to happen. We're happy there hasn't been any shootings for a few months now, but to us it just seems like a matter of time," said Ryan Vellinga, a resident who has lived in the neighborhood for the past two years.
Since January, the club has operated under new rules: an age restriction of no one under 30, and no one admitted after midnight.
Club owner Juliet Wright agreed to the changes after four shootings outside the club in 2014, which brought a lot of pressure from the neighborhood watch group and law enforcement.
Neighbors say they do think the new policies helped limit some of the clientele, and in turn, curbed some of the trouble that first put Juliet's under scrutiny.
"From what I hear from the neighbors, they've quieted down. I haven't gotten the same complaints," said Sally Kohler, coordinator of the Greater Kahkwa Neighborhood Watch Group.
"Since they imposed the rules, I guess I would say there has been less incidences, at least from what we've heard," Vellinga said.
Attorney Vincent Nudi, speaking on behalf of owner, Wright, said they did find that regulations brought changes for the better.
"The rule changes have been positive and have helped make the neighborhood a better place. She (Wright) is very happy about that. It's minimized the amount of finger pointing, but there's no way around all the critics," Nudi said.
Juliet's does plan to to meet with the task force, which includes the Erie Police Department, the DA's office, and Liquor Control Enforcement before making any changes to the current rules.
But many neighbors still hope the business just will go away all together.
"I think everyone will be most pleased when it's gone completely," Kohler said. "We can't foretell the future. With a place like that, anything could happen," she said.
"We've got little kids here and don't want any part of that near us," Vellinga said. "If we had our wish, it would be gone," she said.