You can count on controversy every time an adult entertainment establishment tries to open its doors. So you might imagine that feathers are a little ruffled at the thought of a burlesque club opening in heart of downtown San Antonio, very possibly on the sacred River Walk.

Burlesque is considered to be a kind of adult theater. It's mostly recognized for the art of the strip tease.

And it's coming to downtown San Antonio.

But don't expect to see an exotic dancer setting where there's a runway with a pole at the end of it and people walking up to offer tips.

There will be no runway. There will be no pole and there will definitely be no tipping, said Rebecca Pattison of the Blackstone Burlesque Lounge.

The Blackstone has plans for 7500 square feet of intimate, cozy, upscale, Las Vegas-like entertainment.It'd be the first of its kind in south Texas.

But is it a strip club?

Strippers remove their clothing for money, Pattison said. Burlesque dancers are taking off custumes for the love of the dance.

No lap dances. No private dances. There will be no taking a dancer off to a private corner and slipping her a $20.

Coco letric will be one of the lounge's performers.

Burlesque is all about layers. It's all about transformation, inside and out, she said.

It's what she does that might raise more than a few eyebrows.

Burlesque performers are very sensual, she said. And they own their sensuality. Their sensuality and their sexuality isn't an accident.
Every part of it is planned.

I really try to make my eyes stand out as much as I possibly can because I think the eyes are probably the most important part of burlesque, she said.

So when she transforms from Amy to Coco, she's a pin-up fantasy come to life whose focus is to seductively remove.

The striptease isn't supposed to be the only entertainment at the Blackstone. Vaudeville-like acts and musicians are supposed to be on hand, too.

But there is talk the project could meet some opposition because its type of adult entertainment might not be a good fit for San Antonio's River Walk.

We have been in contact with many city officials and so far we have not been told no. We've not been shut down completely, Pattison said.

That may be true, but KENS 5 couldn't find anyone at City Hall who knew enough about the Blackstone to talk about it. That's from the mayor's office to the city councilwoman who represents the district where the lounge would be located.

There's even been a change in plans for the club's location. The folks behind this proposed burlesque lounge are now negotiating to use a new building that's not even on the River Walk itself. But the plan is still to be downtown, just a few steps away from San Antonio's flowing treasure.

The Blackstone has the financial backing it needs. The plan is to open in March.

But not everyone has the heart or stomach for The Blackstone s proposed opening.

The Paseo Del Rio Association said its mission is to promote, protect and preserve the San Antonio Riverwalk. So they will not offer support for the striptease lounge to become a part of downtown.

We are closely monitoring this development and will convey our opposition to city officials when and if, The Blackstone applies for necessary permitting, said Nancy Hunt, the association s executivedirector.

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