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A Wilmington adult store is left wondering why it is being forced to close

READ MORE: A Wilmington adult store is left wondering why it is being forced to close
The city has closed the doors on a Wilmington adult entertainment store, despite the fact that similar shops operate less than a half a mile away. “If we're in violation, I know the other stores are,” said Jeanne Sutton, Intimate Bliss manager. Intimate Bliss was slapped with a zoning violation in November. Sutton said about 6 months ago, 16 detectives, policemen and city zoning people spent four days inside the store, investigating; taking with them DVD's and other merchandise. After putting up a six month fight, its owner decided to give in and shut down. The business was called to the city's attention by a citizen complaint. “In this particular case, the business had said they were going to be a lingerie store, not an adult establishment,” said Malissa Talbert, Wilmington spokesperson. According to city zoning laws, adult establishments are not allowed in that area of the city, yet there are at least four adult stores within two miles of Intimate Bliss; and some as close as half a mile away. Intimate Bliss had been, licensed and operating here for more than two years. But what is classified as an adult establishment gets a little tricky. “You're not only looking at the type of materials, but how much and where within the business. So there are a number of different nuances, you almost have to look at each case individually,” Talbert said. Still, some even use adult as a selling point along the stretch of Market Street. Malissa Talbert said it may just be as simple as less retail space is devoted to adult materials, or maybe other stores are even operating illegally and just haven't been caught. In the meantime, Jeanne Sutton said, the city has required Intimate Bliss to shut its doors on or before March 31st. “It’s been really sad. We've been here a long time, we have a lot of regulars, and when we tell them what's happening, they say what about the other places, you know?" As part of the agreement, Intimate Bliss is not allowed to advertise a going out of business sale. Instead, it must say it is closing because the store violated the city's zoning codes.

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City of WIlmington has overdone it again... :(

The City of Wilmington is apparently trying to be a communist regime. There were no violations whatsoever found in Intimate Bliss other than their "zoning" laws which were okay up until a couple of months ago. Intimate Bliss may be across the street the from a school, but that shouldn't matter because there were no adult novelties viewable from the street, all that was visible upon driving by would be a couple of posters, shoes, and outfits. Its a shame that the City of Wilmington messed up big time with this because now we have to say bye bye to all the adult stores in Wilmington, because they are more in violation that Intimate Bliss could have ever been. I wonder where all the pigs are gonna get their wives toys now... Its a shame to see Intimate Bliss leave Wilmington, but I know that they are going to do so much better in Jacksonville. So if you ever need any adult novelty, or dancewear visit them in JACKSONVILLE!!!!

I thought everyone knew that

I thought everyone knew that there isn't supposed to be pornographic stores next to schools or churches within city limits? This one was directly across Market Street from Blair Noble. Didn't see that mentioned in the article. I'm betting that if they just moved their location (as long as it's not next to a school or church) they would be fine to stay in business.


seems to me like someone should add up the BILL of the time it took all these officers and wasted time worrying about a bunch of NOTHING and send whoever made the decision to make this a big deal the BILL for it all.

Who cares?? If you don't

Who cares?? If you don't want to be exposed to "adult" merchandise, don't go in the store..........simple as that. These merchants were operating a legitimate business, licensed, paying taxes and there is no good reason why they should be shut down, especially if other like businesses are left to operate.


Way to go Wilmington, lets put a few more people on the unemployment payroll. What the hell were they doing wrong? So sad. 16 officers in ONE store???? hmmmm... This is wrong. Spend some of your resources on the drugs and prostitution downtown!

"16 detectives, policemen

"16 detectives, policemen and city zoning people spent four days inside the store, investigating; taking with them DVD's and other merchandise." What? How many people does it take to change a light bulb? Why after the amount of time this shop has been open is this "just" coming about? If this was a "problem" a "zoning issue" why were they allowed to open to begin with? I know there is other "crimes" that "16 detectives and policemen" could have been focused on! What about "unsolved" crimes?

Who Did the review on the zoning

Well, it looks like the City has made another big issue out of nothing!. So, what consititutes "adult" stores versus lingerie stores? Seems as though someone may have their panties in a wad and maybe did not like the merchandise selection in the store. No different if we go to the mall and Victoria's Secret and the show windows. So what if they sold some unusual merchandise. It would seem that the zoning officials and the PD need to be consistent in what they allow in the area. If there are others then why don't they crack down on them? Not a fair situation in today's business environment to force someone to close. Besides, I would bet that some of those same police officers may have shopped in there

Some fine "zoning" work there!!!

I'm an avid supporter of our local law enforcemnt entities, but 16 detectives, police officers and "zoning authorities" concentrating on a harmless, legitimate, tax paying business like this? Anyone can drive down sections of Castle St. or Princess and many other locations in the city to find drug dealers openly doing business on a consistent basis. I've had out of town visitors witness this and say, "That's just plain blatant, why aren't the police doing something about that?" Something tells me that a drug, theft or rape free "zone" is better than sex toy free "zone" anyday! So...what do you think Zoning Authorities??? You're the "experts" here.

Say what??

Why did the investigators take DVDs and merch with them?? Sounds to me like they just wanted some free porn and sex toys. I'd be willing to bet that more than one of their wives has a new rubber boyfriend. What's next?? They gonna close The View? Don't they have better things to worry about in this town other than where adults buy their porn.


Hot time in the old town tonight, at the detectives houses anyway. Their wives are lonely due to the long hours cops keep....rubber b/f's are a necessity. Adam and Eve dot com. That's where I go and I am supporting a NC business in the process. Think locally.

Thanks for the visual

Thanks for the visual Das...LOL

What's Wrong With Wilmington's Laws

I was troubled by the city's admission that an ordinary adult business owner can't tell whether his (or her) store is in violation of the Wilmington zoning laws. When city spokesperson Malissa Talbert says that, in order to tell if a business is classified as adult, "there are a number of different nuances, you almost have to look at each case individually," doesn't that vest the city with too much power? I think there's something unconstitutional about that. Ordinary people ought to be able to tell whether they're breaking a law or not.

I agree...sounds like to me

I agree...sounds like to me that the City needs to do a little better job of setting the ground rules for what is allowed and what isn't. There is no reason why these things are done on a case by case basis. There should be some standards that alleviate any doubts

Who Cares About Adult Stores, Go After The Real Criminals

Some little bookstore in a strip mall on a section of Market St that otherwise is mostly used car lots and out of business diners is not hurting anything. Why doesn't the city and its gang of cronies target the real criminals like all the thugs, drug dealers, white collar crime, sex predators, illegal aliens ect that have over run our fair city. Let them stay open and just tax them! I don't think another business needs to close with your tax revenue drying up!

The real crooks are the KKKops.

I will be forwarding this story to the AP and the ACLU.

Looks like I know where to

Looks like I know where to shop for my wife for some cheap (or cheaper) toys....this will be a perfect chance to get some good items at a discounted price