Jan. 20, 2016 By Christian Murray
Show Palace, a Long Island City gentlemen’s club known for its fully-nude strippers and its hiring of porn stars, got the thumbs down yet again from the State Liquor Authority yesterday in its quest for a liquor license.
The club, located at 42-50 21st Street, was denied a liquor license when it opened three years ago after the SLA deemed it to be operating in an unsuitable location—a decision upheld by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York.
Community Board 2 Chairman Pat O’Brien and Captain John Travaglia, Commanding Officer of the 108 Police Precinct, testified in opposition to the liquor license application at a SLA hearing yesterday, noting both the character of the surrounding neighborhood and a number of crimes that were connected to club patrons.
According to Travaglia, three of the four shootings that occurred in the 108 Police Precinct last year took place in the vicinity of Show Palace.
Travaglia testified that on Feb. 7, a Show Palace bouncer was shot by three men who had been at the club, who were subsequently caught and had 90 felony arrests combined.
On June 20, a victim left Show Palace and was shot about a block away and robbed of a $10,000 gold chain. In a similar incident on Oct. 25, a patron of the club was shot about a half block away and robbed of a $10,000 gold chain and a watch. This victim was also found to be carrying 20 decks of heroin. The perpetrators in these incidents have not been found.
Travaglia also said that City-wide crime units have had cases in Show Palace, including an undercover purchase of cocaine from club employees and an undercover purchase of marijuana. He noted additional reports of harassment, assault and grand larceny in a thousand-foot radius of the club.
O’Brien argued that the area has only become more unsuitable for a strip club since its original application was denied.
“The Long Island City and Hunters Point area of Queens where [Show Palace] is located have experienced a dramatic, multi-million if not multi-billion dollar renaissance and redevelopment over the past several years,” he said. “It is a community that is growing with families.”
The club has so far been operating without a liquor license, which allows it to offer fully-nude, full friction shows to 18-year-olds and above without community approval.
In response to Travaglia’s testimony, a Show Palace representative argued that granting the club a liquor license would help stem the crimes, because those licenses require premises to close at 4 a.m. Travaglia had stated that most incidents at the club occurred between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.
“You want me to give them a liquor license to shut [earlier]?” the SLA chairman replied, laughing. “It’s a unique argument.”
He went on to deny the application, citing primarily the 108th Precinct’s information.
Additional reporting by Jackie Strawbridge.
Video of the hearing is below