CORWITH, IA - A little over three months since opening, The Loft Juice and Strip Bar is closing it’s doors.
Friday, a judge ordered the eviction of Owner, Dale Peterson and his juice/strip bar because rent had not been paid on time.
In the small town of Corwith, Peterson and his club continue to be a magnet for controversy as protesters picket in front of his strip club every night they’re open.
“This place is gonna be missed when I’m gone. A few people were saying that they’re happy I’m gonna be gone. Well think about a majority of the people who won’t be happy,” said Peterson.
Peterson says he doesn’t mind all the attention, it’s his rights as a business owner that he believes are at stake.
“They’re really taking away somebody’s rights to do what they want to do and that’s just not right,” said Peterson.
Other’s don’t feel the same way.
Corwith Mayor Jay Gourley has been paying close attention to the controversy in his town and says he’s not surprised by the outcry from the community.
“It kind of gives the community a bad reputation thinking that this is what the community’s values are,” said Gourley.
Regardless of the reason for the closing, Mayor Gourley believes that it’s in the best interest of the community.
“This is something that is an operation that has values that are very different from the values of the community for the majority. The majority felt that this was not a good fit for Corwith,” said Gourley.
“People are adults that come to this establishment. If they want to come in, let them. It should be their right and their privilege. Nobody tells them what to watch on television or what to do on the internet,” said Peterson.
With protesters, Peterson says business has slowly been decreasing.
According to Peterson, protesters have taken photos of those entering the club as a way to intimidate customers. A tactic he says is hurting business but, isn’t keeping committed customers from coming back even if it’s for the last time.
According to Mayor Gourley, the Corwith City Council is in talks of buying the property once it’s up for sale.
If the sale is made, one option on the table is building a shelter for low-income families and battered women, something they say lines up more with their values.