Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A longtime downtown Rochester business is seeking permission to change its name.

This may sound unusual, but it’s believed the Downtown Book and Video store is the ONLY business in town that needs approval from the City Council to adopt a new name.

The requirement stems from a drawn-out legal battle between the adult bookstore and the city back in the 1990’s. The bookstore opened right next door to the former City Hall building and some Council members wanted it to relocate.

But  the settlement also required the business to get approval before changing its name to anything that “ highlights the fact that an adult establishment is located on the premises.”  

Its reason for the proposed change does not appear to be a marketing move. Apparently, some people have no idea what type of merchandise the adult bookstore sells.

In a letter to the city seeking the change, general manager Peter Andrews says, “ I believe this name change will cut down in mistaken walk-ins and phone inquiries of people who think we are a normal book seller. “  

The City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on a request to adopt a new name - Downtown Intimates.  



Here is a summary of the settlement:

On November 20, 1996, the City entered into a Settlement Stipulation and Agreement with ILQ Investments, Inc., and Excalibur Group, Inc., as owners of the Downtown Book and Video store. This 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. This settlement agreement followed the federal court’s ruling. Section 8 of the Settlement Stipulation and Agreement states: “The business will continue operating under the name ‘Downtown Book and Video’ and will not change its name without the express written approval by 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.” 

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