After a prostitution bust led to the arrest of five women at a Long Island City nightclub, state Senator Michael Gianaris is calling on the Queens District Attorney to use the state’s Nuisance Abatement Law to shut it down.
Show Palace, located at 42-50 21st St., has been a problem since its inception in 2012, according to Gianaris and other community leaders who held a press conference on Dec. 11 to demand it be shut down.
Originally called Gypsy Rose, the all-nude nightclub applied for a liquor license three times since it opened. The State Liquor Authority (SLA) denied the application every time.
According to Gianaris, the club’s owner turned the nightclub into an all-nude establishment because of the SLA’s decision and customers will sometimes drink outside near the sidewalk since the club is technically not allowed to sell alcohol.
On Dec. 13, Gianaris wrote a letter to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown asking that he invoke the Nuisance Abatement Law, a law used by the NYPD to shut down violent clubs and bars and crime-prone businesses. It was first enacted in the ’70s to curb the sex and drug industry in Times Square.
“Recent reports from the New York City Police Department’s 108th Precinct indicate a disproportionate number of disturbing incidents coming from this location including shootings, prostitution and other summonses,” Gianaris wrote in the letter. “Taken together, these activities make clear that the continued operation of this club puts our community at risk.”
According to the Daily News, the NYPD Vice Squad arrested five women for prostitution between the ages of 20 to 35 on Dec. 1 during a raid that began as an investigation into liquor law violations.
The nightclub has made headlines for violating liquor laws, selling drugs, weapons charges and a shooting. Owner Gus Drakopoulos also ran Sin City in the Bronx, a nightclub that was shut down after the Daily News spoke to former employees who described the poor working conditions, harassment experienced by women there and the consistent violence.
“It is evident that Show Palace presents an increased danger to local residents and is a detriment to our community,” Gianaris wrote. “Given the aforementioned concerns, I respectfully request that the Nuisance Abatement Law be utilized to provide our neighborhood with sonic relief.”
The Queens District Attorney’s office is currently prosecuting the prostitution case. A spokesperson for Brown did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.