A new location for a controversial chain of sexually oriented shops has opened in Sandy Springs despite the owner previously saying it would be a dancer’s clothing store.
The storefront at 6074 Roswell Road has new signs for “Tokyo Valentino,” the name of the Atlanta-based sex shop chain of self-described “erotiques” or “erotic boutiques,” which sells adult costumes, sex toys and videos. On a Dec. 3 visit to the 6074 Roswell Road store, an associate said the shop opened “sometime this week.”
Work on the storefront sparked confusion whether it would be another sex shop, coming just after a decade-long legal battle ended with the city shuttering all strip clubs and all but one other adult novelty store.
The owner of the store, Michael Morrison, and the city of Sandy Springs did not respond to a comment request.
On Nov. 21 and 25, the city issued two separate permits for signage “for Tokyo Valentino,” according to the city’s permit website.
Morrison owns Tokyo Valentino locations on Cheshire Bridge Road and Northside Drive in Atlanta, Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth and Cobb Parkway in Marietta. Morrison also runs a smaller store called Stardust on Buford Highway in Brookhaven. Morrison is currently involved in legal battles with the cities of Atlanta and Brookhaven over the adult stores he runs.
Previously, Morrison said the Sandy Springs store would not be a branch of the chain and would instead be a new venture called Dancer’s Elite Wear, which would sell clothing, shoes and other accessories.
“The store opening in Sandy Springs is not Tokyo Valentino,” Morrison said in a written message on Oct. 21. “It’s called “Dancer’s Elite Wear.”
There are currently no permits for signage for Dancer’s Elite Wear or any variation of the title on the city’s permit website.
Lingerie can be seen from the windows and inside the store. There are non-dancing items on the shelves, including sex toys and water pipes.
The two Atlanta locations have private video booths but the locations in Duluth and Marietta do not. A store associate said the Sandy Springs location will not have such booths.
The shop is about two blocks away from the new arts and civic complex City Springs. It falls within the City Springs zoning district, which permits “adult establishments,” according to the zoning’s allowed use table.
According to reports from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Morrison recently won an appeal against the city of Atlanta for trying to shut down the Cheshire Bridge store. The city has been trying to close the shop for years, but in June, a federal appeals court threw out an injunction from the city to shut down his store and said Morrison can challenge the constitutionality of Atlanta’s adult entertainment ordinance.
Morrison has been in a legal battle over the Stardust store in Brookhaven as well. In February, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued that Stardust was in contempt for going against a lower court’s ruling to stop operations because it violates a Brookhaven ordinance regulating sexually oriented businesses, but the shop remains open.
The city of Sandy Springs recently finished a 12-year fight against sex shops and strip clubs in the area, leaving only one store selling adult entertainment items open within city limits, Love Shack located at 5674 Roswell Road. No strip clubs are still open within city limits.