RACINE, Wis. - The Racine Journal Times reports that the city's downtown smut era has ended with last week's closing of the area's last remaining adult book and video store.
The innocuously named Racine News, located at 316 Main St., quietly closed shop after business on Wednesday of last week. In keeping with what is reported to be the store's generally low-key approach, there was no clearance sale to mark the closure.
According to the Journal Times, a crew of workers came to the store and quietly removed all the merchandise and display racks and trucked the items away. And thus came the end of downtown smut.
The co-owner of Dover Flag and Map, JoAnn Lebre told the Journal Times of the closure, "We're getting rid of a pimple on the block."
However, Lebre also told the paper that Racine News "...have always been good neighbors. Years ago, there were people who were causing problems downtown. I would have had no hesitation about calling them [Racine News]. I know they would have come to my aid."
The Journal Times also noted the feelings of John Alia, owner of the neighboring restaurant Salute, who said, "They [Racine News] really were not a bad neighbor."
Despite the fact he considered the store to be a good neighbor, Alia nevertheless told the Journal Times he wasn't sad to see the business go. "It is good news," he said. "I'm glad they took it out of downtown."
With the closing of Racine News, the downtown area now has no adult bookstores. According to the Journal Times, Racine News opened sometime around 1976.
Like many downtown areas across America, Racine is undergoing revitalization and a porn shop didn't quite fit the plans for the new Racine. Downtown Racine Corp. executive director Devin Sutherland told the Journal Times, "Certainly the neighbors have not thought it was a business that was conducive to the revitalization of downtown."
However, like others who commented on the store's closing, Sutherland told the Journal Times, "They never caused any problems, and they were pretty good about keeping their building up and sweeping their sidewalk."