Neighbors Indifferent to Sex Store Despite Protest

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JEFFERSON CITY - Neighboring business reacted with indifference Wednesday to a new store that opened in Jefferson City on Missouri Boulevard. Cirilla's opened last month and offers a variety of adult clothing and sex items. Though it does not meet the statutory definition of an adult store there, the establishment is quite possibly the first of that type of store in Jefferson City.

That status has brought some protests from some residents Jan Kruse and Julia Ruengert protested outside the store on Tuesday and told KOMU 8 they would protest the store again. The women also said they planned to begin a petition to close or move the store.

When asked what their major issue was with Cirilla's, the women said the fact that it does not represent itself as an adult store. "I thought it was a boutique," said Kruse.

Cirilla's does have a sign on it's door that says only 18 and older are allowed inside, something the city said the store volunteered to do on its own. KOMU spoke with a business owner in the same plaza as Cirilla's who said he did not mind the store was in operation. He also said he thinks the protesters yesterday brought Cirilla's more business than it's seen since it opened a month ago.

Cirilla's is not listed as an adult store under the city ordinance. Jefferson City officials told KOMU a business must meet one of three requirements in order to qualify as an adult business.

Those requirements are:

  • 1/3 of gross sales must be of adult items
  • 1/3 of retail space must be devoted to adult items
  • or 1/3 of gross floor space must contain adult items

The city estimated that about 25% of Cirilla's floor space is devoted to the sell of those items, which means it falls short of the requirements. The city also commented that its status could change in the future depending on gross sales. If Cirilla's is required to apply for an adult business license, it would not meet another condition of the city ordinance. That part of the ordinance requires an adult business be no less than 1000 feet away from a residential area.

An employee in the store refused to comment Wednesday for this story.

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