Legal fight brewing over possible Social House expansion to The Loop

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UNIVERSITY CITY, MO (KPLR) - A new restaurant and bar that could open in University City is getting a lot of push back. Not for what it serves, but for how it’s served.

It’ll be called Social House II, a concept similar to the Social House restaurant and bar in the Soulard neighborhood. Topless waitresses and waiters will serve their patrons while covered only by pasties and body paint from the waist up.

Some people see it as adult entertainment.

“It’s a strange spot to put this,” said Jaclyn Boozalis, who lives nearby.

Andrew Gibson agrees, “I don't think it would be a good addition to the neighborhood and not to mention we really like the Market Pub House and the environment of that.”

Even the landlord of the property, Dan Wald, is trying to block the idea. Wald took to the UCity Voices Facebook page and wrote that he will not renew the current lease once it’s up in March 2017, saying in part:

"That limitation should make opening a social house operation a far less attractive proposition, and that, coupled with the city's expected opposition and the lawsuit I intend to file, should bring an end to this."

Attorney Al Watkins, who represents Social House II and its owner, John Racanelli, said Social House II isn’t going anywhere.

“No, no you're not going to stop this. If in discharging their operations, Social House II violates the law, then like every other corporate citizen or ordinary citizen they need to be subjected to the consequences of violating that law. But there's no law that says you can't have a painted topped server, male or female,” Watkins said.

The University City City Council will talk about the issue at its meeting on February 22.