MANCHESTER, Mo. – The city of Manchester is at war with a sex-oriented business.
Dr. John’s Lingerie and Novelty Boutique opened in a large, pink building at Manchester Road and Pleasant View Drive in May and has been surrounded in controversy ever since, with complaints pouring in from residents and city hall.
The Manchester city administrator said the city has issued a temporary restraining order against Dr. John’s and the city attorney said a judge has the boutique $1,500 a day as long as it remains open.
The city claims to have approved the business because the store agreed to sell only apparel and accessories that were the same or similar to those sold at the Walmart in Manchester.
But city officials said the store has violated zoning requirements by selling adult novelties. John Haltom, the founder of Dr. John’s, said he’s abiding by the law.
"They said they didn't want us to use the word novelty on our sign and they didn't want us to sell novelties. Okay. Then they said you can sell anything that Walmart sells. Well, Walmart sells (adult novelties). My prediction is that this will be our number one store in the state of Missouri. That's what I predict,” Haltom said.
Can Haltom fight city hall in court?
“Oh yeah,” he said. “I got 60,000 cars going by every day.”
Haltom said he’s opened 20 Dr. John’s shops around the country and he’s had to fight to launch 15 of them. He said it’s just a cost of doing business.