Neighbors mixed on possible bikini bar near 72nd and Blondo

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - A new business might soon open in the former Mt. Fuji and Mai Tai bar near 72nd and Blondo streets.

The city council will decide on Tuesday whether to recommend a liquor license for a proposed bikini bar called Candyland

The proposed bar near 72nd and Blondo streets would feature girls serving drinks in bikinis and lingerie. The neighborhood has a mixed opinion of that type of establishment. 

“The wrong element I think will be in the area, that's the way it's always been whenever you go to these strip bars, you have some pretty strange people in there let’s face it you do,” says Dan Arcuri, owner of Danny's Bar and Grill.

Dan Arcuri has owned Danny's Bar and Grill for 37 years and was grew up just blocks away.
He says the area is not prone to crime but believes a place like Candyland could change things. 

"I don't want to take a chance with the bad publicity because some girls are over there with bikinis waiting on serving drinks to you. For what, there's no reason to, put clothes on and a regular nice shirt or tank top and serve drinks," Arcuri.

The bar would be within a mile of Creighton Prep and other Catholic schools, plus three daycare/preschool facilities will be just blocks away. One daycare director declined to go on camera but said she doesn't want kids around a bikini bar.

Others are okay with it, including Bob Choate who lives nearby, who says new businesses are always welcome. 

"A business coming in is good for the taxes, as long as it's under control and it's in-house and not out in the street,” says Choate. 

AAA Electrostatic Painting owner Gregg Johnsen also doesn't mind, as long as the bar employees and customers respect his shop next door. 

"I'd rather have an operating business there versus a vacant building running down. I knew it was coming,  had neighbors tell me about it, workers on the building told me it was coming so I have no problem as long it doesn't affect my business or come on to my property, disrupt any of our business I'm fine with it," says Johnsen. 

When the city council takes up the issue next week, there will likely be at least one vocal opponent.

“Now that I've found out what it is I probably will go down, I wasn't going to before but I don't want a bikini bar across the street from Danny's Bar & Grill," Arcuri said.

Another potential issue could be the fact that the owner of Candyland has two DUI convictions in 1999 and 2001. But Nebraska Liquor Commissioner Bob Batt told me that because the offenses occurred a while back, it will likely not affect the final decision on a state liquor license application.

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