Update: Downtown Book and Video gets approval to change its name
Downtown Book and Video, an adult novelty shop on First Avenue in Rochester, has submitted a request to the city council to change its name so passersby don't mistake it for a "normal book seller."
Under the proposal, the business — which sells everything from porn to "tobacco" pipes — would change its name to "Downtown Intimates."
General manager Peter Andrews explained the reasoning behind the proposed name change in a letter to the council: "Among other reasons, I believe this name change will cut down in mistaken walk-ins and phone inquires of people who thing we are a normal book seller."
In 1996, the City of Rochester entered into a settlement with the business's ownership to allow the store to operate under the name "Downtown Book and Video. As part of the agreement, the business cannot change its name without the express written approval from the city.
"In no event will the business change its name to any name that highlights the fact that an adult establishment is located on the premises," the agreement states.
The settlement agreement resolved a lawsuit brought by the bookstore against the city alleging the city’s zoning ordinance that restricted the location of adult uses was unconstitutional. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and upheld the constitutionality of the city’s adult use zoning ordinance. The aforementioned settlement followed the court's ruling.
(Cover photo: The Med City Beat)