Crave Pulls Out Of Carencro, Finds New Home
Two weeks after the Carencro City Council declined to amend its obscenity ordinance to allow Crave Romance Boutique to open inside city limits, Crave's owners are taking their venture to another Lafayette Parish community.
The store's owners, Mike and Jolene Menard, say the decision to leave their planned location in the Derek Plaza strip mall was not their own.
According to posts on Crave's Facebook page, their landlords canceled Crave's lease amid pressure from the owner of another business in the shopping center. The Menards have documented the move-out on their store's Facebook page. In one comment, Crave's owners explain in their own words what happened:
Elsewhere on the page, a customer asked if the Menards were considering opening in another location in or near the city. The Menards replied that opening one of their stores in the Carencro area is still a possibility. They added that time constraints prevent them from moving to another location in that city right now.
Mike Menard tells KPEL that right now he doesn't plan to sue the Carencro City Government. Menard said if he finds a space in the city that is willing to host his store, then he would sue on First Amendment grounds. Menard says he plans to sue his now former landlord for breach of contract.
Meanwhile, Crave is taking its business to Youngsville.
The Menards say they have signed a five-year lease to open up shop in a Fortune Road shopping center. They say the move comes after they met with Mayor Ken Ritter and Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux.
On Facebook, Menard wrote that he, Ritter, and Boudreaux were "on the same page." Ritter disagrees.
"We have nothing in our existing ordinance to prevent a landlord from from allowing that type of business to open," Ritter told KPEL. "Chief Boudreaux and I met with the business owner and landlord and made it clear that I thought it wasn't a good fit or location, that we didn't want it, and that I was not happy about it."
Ritter also says he is proposing a new ordinance to prevent other businesses like Crave from moving into the city in the future.
"As much as I appreciate free enterprise, in order to prevent something similar happening again, I have drafted an amendment to our land use ordinance to further define acceptable land uses adjacent to residential neighborhoods," Ritter told KPEL. "This will be introduced and voted on by the city council next week."
To read more about KPEL's previous coverage on this story and to hear the original report from the Carencro City Council meeting two weeks ago, click here.
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