THE WEDGE — Well, that was quick.
Just weeks after the controversial news broke that then-vacant 2405 Hennepin Ave. S. would be the site of the nation’s 12th Hollywood Hustler, the store is already open for business.
Employees said the store’s layout and inventory are works in progress. New products are still arriving, but management apparently believes it’s better to get the doors open and sell what’s already in stock than wait.
Hollywood Hustler’s inventory is a bit reminiscent of a sex-themed Spencer Gifts. Clothing ranging from t-shirts to edible undies is for sale, along with items like Hustler pint glasses, sex board games and Larry Flynt books.
To conform to the city’s general retail zoning code, only 15 percent of the store’s floor space can be devoted to sexually explicit materials. These items — most of which are pornographic — are shielded from view in a corner of the store behind roughly 7-foot-high walls.
At a neighborhood meeting last month, city officials told neighborhood residents they would be inspecting the store prior to its opening to make sure it was complying with the 15 percent regulation.
Although the store’s front windows along Hennepin Ave. are filled with lingerie-clad mannequins, Hollywood Hustler’s Minneapolis store is far less gaudy in appearance than most of the chain’s other locations.
2405 Hennepin’s trim has been repainted red, and a small, simple sign reads “Hollywood Hustler” above the store’s entryway. Hustler’s corporate website shows some of the chain’s other stores adorned with tall neon spires and flashy large lettering.
Employees at the store said a grand opening celebration is planned for Sept. 6. Though plans remain preliminary, employees said porn star Ron Jeremy and perhaps even Larry Flynt himself may make appearances.
For more information about the Minneapolis Hollywood Hustler, check out the store’s Facebook page. The store’s phone number has not yet been publicly posted.
— Reach Aaron Rupar at [email protected]