By Rebecca Henely
A long-contentious Long Island City strip club is planning to open with a new name, no booze and possibly nude dancing.
Show Palace, formerly known as the Gypsy Rose Cabaret, has advertised an opening date of Thursday, May 31. The club, at 42-50 21st St., has been engaged in a dispute with Community Board 2 and other members of the neighborhood since 2011, which led CB 2 members and elected officials to urge the State Liquor Authority to deny the business a license to sell alcohol multiple times.
The club earned the rancor of the community when a previous owner, Gus Drakopoulos, threatened to lower the minimum age of the performers from 21 to 18 and then have the dancers perform fully nude instead of topless if the club did not get a liquor license.
The SLA denied the club’s request for a license in January. Despite the denial, Show Palace is planning to open without the license as a nightclub and restaurant, according to its website. The site also advertises music with disc jockeys, an appearance by porn star Kagney Linn Karter and $10 steak, eggs and mimosas, presumably virgin. Hours of operation are listed as 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
The club’s website does not say the venue will have nude dancers, although the strip club listing website tusci.net describes it as a nude establishment.
Calls to the club and Terry Flynn, the lawyer who represented Show Palace in its bid for a liquor license, were not returned.
CB 2 Chairman Joseph Conley said the community would be keeping a close eye on the club and checking with multiple agencies to make sure Show Palace has its required permits.
“The community is going to be vigilant and we’re going to make sure that all the laws are upheld,” he said.
Conley said he had heard women were passing out risqué cards advertising Show Palace at neighboring businesses, although he had not seen these cards for himself.
The chairman said the community considered the business an unfair burden, since the area already has several adult nightclubs. He also said since the city had invested so much money into the Queens Plaza area, which was once notorious for prostitution, Show Palace’s opening seemed like a retreat.
“It seems like we’re taking a step back 30 years in time,” he said.
Conley also said since the nightclub would be near hotels, office buildings, the Queensbridge public housing development and Silvercup Studios, where many nationally known movies and TV shows are filmed, the adult establishment would be out of character with the neighborhood.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.