Closed Hustler Store Becoming Preschool

TEMPE, Ariz. — Goodbye Hustler, hello kiddies.

The site of a recently closed Hustler Hollywood store in Tempe, Ariz. is becoming a preschool.

According to the Arizona Republic, vice president of retail operations Chris Strom said the Tempe location — surrounded by apartment complexes and strip malls and next door to a pharmacy — had sales that were too low and its poor location generated too little foot traffic. That shouldn't be a surprise, especially on those Arizona summer days when temperatures can soar past 110 and people who don't stay home retreat to air-conditioner-blasted indoor malls.

"We picked a bad location and that location was not profitable for us," Strom said. "We need to be more savvy at picking a better location."

When the store opened in late 2006, it took the "upscale boutique" approach to selling adult goods. While some residents complained to city officials, they were in a minority and most didn't seem to mind at all; also, the location was zoned for business and Hustler stayed within all regulations and, in fact, didn't call much attention to itself in terms of "window dressing."

Hustler founder Larry Flynt even made an appearance at the store with adult superstar Tera Patrick in July 2007 to promote her Hustler DVD inTERActive.

The outlet was the Hustler store chain's 12th location at the time; now there are 10. The space had previously hosted a 1st Draft Pick Sports Bar and before that a Red Lobster restaurant. The Hustler store closed May 31.

Meanwhile, the month before the Hustler store closed in Tempe, another adult shop, Adam & Eve, opened just three miles away in an older strip mall around the corner from a grocery store. Owner Kenneth McCormick hired two former Hustler employees to work for him.

The previous Hustler store location will now become a Sunrise Preschool — and surely Flynt appreciates the irony.