Purrfect settlement for Badd Kitty adult store?


The brightly lit walls are lined with lingerie and negligees, party favors, games and even greeting cards.

There are lotions and potions of a romantic nature, some movies on DVD, and a selection of sleek shoes.

If it weren’t for some of the battery-operated items in the back room and the adult content of the videos, Badd Kitty wouldn’t have a zoning problem.

County officials cracked down on the adult boutique that caters to couples and bridesmaids hosting bachelorette parties, filing a lawsuit to force its closure 18 months ago.

The county said owner John Gaik was operating an adult entertainment establishment, “specifically a sex paraphernalia store.”

“When Mr. Gaik applied in 2010 for a certificate of zoning compliance, he signed an adult entertainment disclaimer in which he specifically attested that his business ‘shall not meet the definition of’ an adult bookstore or video store,” said the lawsuit filed Jan. 8, 2016.

That meant that 50 percent of the revenues of items sold could not not come from books, magazines, film, videotapes or sexual paraphernalia.

Only a small section of the store partitioned off in the rear contains some of those items, specifically two racks of DVDs and several shelves of sex toys.

The vast majority of the merchandise is clothing and items that are available in most mall lingerie shops.

Both parties recently agreed to settle the lawsuit, but neither side is talking about what that will look like or how it will affect future enforcement of zoning ordinances.

Gaik declined to comment on the lawsuit, as did a woman running the shop Tuesday afternoon.

Although she did point out the business’s charitable operations, including a golf tournament scheduled for later this summer that will benefit children with autism, and contributions from the sale of some T-shirts to a breast cancer foundation.

Some other T-shirts are made by a local woman, who is an amputee, the shop keeper pointed out.

No boxes were being packed or inventory changed out, it all appeared business as usual.

“The settlement has not been signed or finalized, but the judge noted there would be a settlement for that,” said Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokeswoman.

As for the outcome, “we won’t know until we see it,” Bourcier said.

The lawsuit claimed that the retail store was too close to residential areas. The stand-alone boutique sits on Frontage Road, and is surrounded by other other businesses including furniture and mattress stores, a spa, radio station and auto repair shops.

The closest residential area is Kings Grant, which is hidden from the highway but backs up to a second street of commercial businesses behind Frontage Road.

Badd Kitty argued in the lawsuit that this store existed before the zoning regulations, and should be grandfathered in.

In addition to the Murrells Inlet location, Badd Kitty has stores in Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach.

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson