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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Over the years, the township and the strip club have squabbled over whether the club was a prostitution front, whether it was too close to the bowling alley, even how close its strippers could get to clients.

To each side, the fight — one of the longest and most bizarre legal dramas in New Jersey — has assumed a bigger question of identity, pitting the idea of free enterprise against a community’s morality.

"All we really want is to be left alone," said Kevin Hickey, the club’s owner. "I just want the right to run my business."

Daniel Antonelli, a Union Township attorney, argues the club violates a 1995 state law banning sexually oriented business from 1,000 feet of a residential area.

All-nude strip club, Hott 22, wins 14-year-long court battle against Union Township

Enlarge Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger A dancer performs at Hott 22, an all-nude BYOB strip club on Rt. 22 west in Union, which has won a 14-year-long court battle against the township. The win means taxpayers may have to pay $80,000 of the club owners' legal fees. (ANDREW MILLS/THE STAR-LEDGER)

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