The Block

Tough policing required: If adult nightclubs are to remain, there must be a crackdown on illegal activities.

April 29, 1999

THE END OF burlesque should have been the end of The Block. It wasn't.

Instead, The Block shrank from three blocks to one. Bars on The Block were razed in 1968 for a police headquarters, in 1986 for a municipal building and in 1998 for a parking deck. Yet The Block survives -- for now.

The fate of nine bars on The Block will soon be in the hands of Circuit Court. Bar owners say they will appeal a recent zoning board decision upholding a staff recommendation that three of the bars be closed permanently and the rest temporarily.

This follows a crackdown on prostitution, which police say infests the area. Drug sales are also reported to be a problem.

Whether or not you buy the argument that nude dancing and other "adult entertainment" has a place near tourist areas (and on prime real estate), criminal activity can't be tolerated.

There must be tough policing of The Block as long as its neighbors include not only downtown office workers, but Port Discovery children's museum and other Inner Harbor attractions.

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