FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- A proposed bill partially repealing Chapter 121: Sexually Oriented Businesses, of the Fort Wayne Municipal Code of Ordinances is up for discussion at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
Council passed the ordinance in 2019 which includes stricter clothing, licensing and lighting requirements.
Currently, nudity and touching are prohibited. If employees are semi-nude, they need to be six feet away from patrons and on a stage 18 inches from the floor. "Semi-nude" requires female nipples to be entirely covered.
“You can go to a public swimming pool and see more. They’re not even allowed to wear bikinis,” Brandy’s Gentleman's Club Manager Chris Schoch said.
Schoch has been working with City Councilman Jason Arp to ease the restrictions.
“They want to be able to operate normally and make the money that they were making or even a percentage of it. It’s dropped dramatically," he said.
Numbers are down across the board at Brandy’s.
The foot traffic is cut in half, dancers bring in 30-40 percent less, and staff is down to 80 employees from over 100.
Many of the club's almost-exclusively female employees have to leave town, book private parties or make house calls just to make ends meet.
“As far as the safety of the girls, it’s coming up on wintertime. There’s a lot of girls that are driving to Michigan, they’re driving to Indianapolis. They’re driving places to supplement their income,” Schoch said.
FOX 55 reached out to Councilman Arp for comment on Monday, but did not respond.
We will continue coverage of this story at Tuesday’s city council meeting.