Tokyo Valentino accused of operating illegally, permitting sex on premises

An adult-entertainment store in northeast Atlanta is in the hot seat. The city wants to shut down Tokyo Valentino. Officials say the store is operating illegally. Neighbors complain people are engaging in lewd acts in the store’s parking lot.

"We’ve actually, unfortunately, had to witness some of those things," said Tiffany Webb, who walks her dogs along Cheshire Bridge Road each day. Webb says she’s seen some things she can’t unsee. "Explicit things, adult behavior that shouldn’t be done out in public."

The adult-entertainment store sits on Cheshire Bridge Road near Piedmont Avenue. Neighbors complain they’ve seen people having sex in the store’s parking lot and behind vacant buildings next door.

"I prefer not to see those things when I’m just walking my dogs," Webb said.

Last October, the City issued a cease-and-desist order. It accused Tokyo Valentino of illegally operating an adult business. It also accuses the store of "facilitating activity of a sexual nature on the premises and outside the building in plain view of residential structures."

Chris Coleman, Tokyo Valentino’s general manager and marketing director, said they run a clean operation.

Chris Coleman, general manager and marketing director for Tokyo Valentino in Atlanta.

When asked if people are engaging in lewd behavior on property, Coleman said, "Absolutely not, no."

When asked if Tokyo Valentino is operating an illegal bookstore, he responded, "We are not. We’ve been in business for over 25 years. Nothing has changed."

Coleman said Tokyo Valentino keeps a close eye on what’s happening on its property.

Tokyo Valentino in Atlanta

"We have security in our lots 24/7, monitoring the lots, making sure our customers are safe, enjoying their experience here. It’s not happening," he said. "From my understanding, the company is following the letter of the law, and right now, we’re still within that lawful business."

In February, the store lost its appeal before the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustments in an attempt to block the cease and desist order.

When asked if Tokyo Valentino would close, Coleman responded, "I hope not."

The store can still appeal the board’s ruling in Fulton County court.

Councilman Alex Wan, who represents the area of District 6, would not speak on camera for this story. Instead, he said in a statement that he would "continue to track this matter."