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LIC strip club seeks liquor license yet again, faces stiff opposition at SLA hearing

SHOW PALACE

Nov. 11, 2015 By Christian Murray

Show Palace, a Long Island City gentlemen’s club known for its fully-nude strippers and its hiring of porn stars, has a hearing with the State Liquor Authority next month in its quest for a liquor license.

The strip club, located at 42-50 21st St., will go before the SLA on Dec. 15. Community Board 2 Chairman Patrick O’Brien and the commanding officer of the 108 Precinct will testify in opposition to Show Palace getting a license.

The club has a new operator, according to O’Brien, who owns the property and operates Sin City in the Bronx. Real estate documents indicate that the owner is Konstantine Drakopoulos.

O’Brien will go to the SLA hearing armed with letters in opposition from local elected officials. Many residents and the Long Island City Partnership are also against it.

The club was denied a liquor license by the State Liquor Authority when it opened three years ago, after it was deemed to be operating in an unsuitable Long Island City location—a decision upheld by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York.

CB 2 and elected officials were able to persuade the court at the time that the establishment was in an up-and-coming area and didn’t belong.

“There is no basis to suggest that there is anything different,” O’Brien said. “In fact, the only thing that has changed is that the area has become more developed and the renaissance of the area has continued.”

The club has so far been operating without a liquor license, taking advantage of a City loophole that allows it to offer fully-nude, full friction shows to 18-year-olds and above without community approval.

An attorney representing the club told the board in June that if it were to be granted a liquor license it would be in a better position to work with the community and amend some of its business practices.

At the time, O’Brien told a representative of the club that the argument was nonsense.

“Other than the fact you will have topless entertainment with alcohol served as opposed to completely nude entertainment with no alcohol… what is changing?”

However, the representative for Show Palace said the establishment is here to stay.

“This meeting and the approving of their liquor license gives the community more of an ability to have an input on certain aspects of its business,” she said.

“The applicant and I will sit with you and you can say we don’t like your hours and point out something specific. If you are going to say that it is never going to happen because it’s an adult entertainment facility it puts us in a place where we have no room to move.”

The attorney argued that since Show Palace has been in open, it has not had an adverse impact on the neighborhood.

However, O’Brien pointed out that there has been a homicide in front of the establishment and felony assault charges.

“These things don’t happen at Chuck E. Cheese,” he said.

A shooting also took place near the club last month.

Captain John Travaglia, Commanding Officer of the 108 Police Precinct, reported that a man was shot on Oct. 26 during a botched robbery when he came out of Show Palace.

While the perpetrators were not caught at the time, the victim was left in stable condition, Travaglia said. The victim was also arrested for heroin possession at the time of the incident.

The owner of the club could not be reached for this story.

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32 Comments

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stacy

This area is going through a great transformation. The last thing it needs is a seedy gross club with its associated foot traffic. As a resident of LIC, I def do not want this place open, let alone ok with them getting a liquor license.

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Anonymous visitor

Poor ugly fay Stacy is definitely not ok with her husband going to these places for “happy hour”

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The silent majority is real

Little do you know, almost every person I’ve asked that hangs out in the neighborhood, (some longtime residents, some newer residents), doesn’t give a hoot whether the strip club has a liquor license or not. A few ladies and gents have actually been there and say good things about it. Surprisingly, the food is decent and the ambiance/decor is pleasing. None are at all bothered or threatened by a local exotic dance club. Many haven’t even heard of or seen the place because most don’t venture out that way. (they have the unfortunate lot of being situated near some of the worst housing projects in history. It’s unfair to blame the area’s crime on their patrons) It will always be the opposition that is the noisiest, obviously. If you strongly oppose and you sit in a room with others who strongly oppose, you’re likely to think that this must be how everyone feels. That simply isn’t the case. The direction this neighborhood is going is progressive. While most of us don’t have the time to attend community board meetings because of the way we work in 2015, that doesn’t mean we oppose strip clubs, which are part of the culture we live in. While I can’t personally attend the liquor license hearing because of my work schedule, I will reach out to the strip club’s owner and then write a letter of support to whomever is overseeing the hearing and I will stress this very point: Pat O’Brien’s word should be taken with a grain of salt as it is meaningless and he most certainly does NOT represent the majority which is much bigger than the community board. He’s pulled the same stunt in the past at Alobar’s liquor license hearing when they wanted to open up their tiny garden area.

I think these women should be celebrated. Their confidence, their work ethic, their willingness to support their families by any means necessary and last but not least, their extraordinary athletic ability. It takes a lot of strength and acrobatic talent to do some of the insane pole tricks I’ve seen these women do. And to do it NAKED with feeling, not just moving to music. I certainly can’t do it. They’re able to boldly showcase the kind of sex appeal and pride in their bodies that I’ve always dreamed of.

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stacy

This comment is def left by the owners. I have talked to plenty of people in the neighborhood and everyone wants this business to move out!! There are insufficient schools in the neighborhood, not enough hospitals and yet you want to write a letter supporting this business? I have spoken to at least 50 residents that want this out.. please do not listen to this B.S.

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The silent majority is real.

I am most definitely NOT the owner. I’m the creator of the page Free The Yards on facebook.

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LOLing all the way home

Looking at all the dislikes on the few comments that dare to openly support the club and laughing as I imagine some crotchety hags clutching their husband’s car keys in fear that he get curious about the Show Palace girls. LOLOLOL!!!

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...

keep moderating posts for people trying to reiterate the facts in this very post but you let people openly bend the facts / post in favor of the club (are the commenters / blog owner related to the club) … starting to lose faith in this blog. “man ran to strip club for help since it was the only place” “the club actually helped him” … come on … at least moderate out those posts too…

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brooklynmc

Look, this is a small community news site. I based my comment on the article I read on this site. If someone has a problem with a comment, just have a polite discussion about it. We are all New Yorkers, we are LI City residents, we are neighbors. Chill.

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Natasha

People are too uptight! It is not all bad. They have very good looking woman trying to make a living there.

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Mel

You are right Nastasha, too freaken uptight they all are! It’s called making a living! We have have to make money!

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Peter

The title has a little NY Post style flair, stiff opposition, funny. Strip club aside the Indian restaurant around the corner is good, one of my favorite take out spots in LIC.

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Truthinator

You’re manipulative aren’t you? The crime in the article had nothing to do with the strip club, nor did it take place in it. You even bringing it up is equivalent to me the 18th precinct for the beating of the man who was beat to death near the precinct earlier this year, even though it had nothing to do with them. The man collapsed in front of the club. The club actually helped him. I reached out to the owner! I’m going to support him at his liquor license hearing. Screw this lame community board!

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brooklynmc

The man who was shot ran to the strip club for help, because it is the only open business for blocks. Pretty sure the shooting had nothing to do with this business.

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...

I’m sorry, but did any of you even read the original post …

“Captain John Travaglia, Commanding Officer of the 108 Police Precinct, reported that a man was shot on Oct. 26 during a botched robbery when he came out of Show Palace.”

“The victim was also arrested for heroin possession at the time of the incident.”

“The owner of the club could not be reached for this story.”

The person who made the original comment merely stated that this is not the kind of “feet on the street” that you would want in the area, and I would tend to agree.

The blog write up states the fact if you actually read it:

– The victim DID leave this establishment when robbed / shot
– The victim was later arrested on heroin charges
– The perpetrator was waiting outside of this establishment to commit a crime
– The owner of the club could not be reached for comment (the same owner who supposedly helped the person that you said didn’t come out of the club…?)

First of all, try actually reading the post that you are responding to before making asinine statements.

Second of all, the only thing the commenter said was that these clubs don’t attract the kind of foot traffic that you would want even in the dumpiest of places. Based on the facts that we have, I would say that the original commenter is right in that I would not want to give any room for establishments like this to proliferate in this immediate area, any of the surrounding ones, or anywhere… Feels like we’d be better off with a bunch of warehouses and no people to walk around and / or get shot …

People easily say it’s fine to have strip clubs and other shady businesses in dumpy areas. Unless you are saying that you would love to live above one then you are a hypocrite. You’re also naive if you think that letting one have operator have what he wants that it won’t attract others and allow them to spill over into surrounding areas…

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but at least come with the facts…

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brooklynmc

I am sorry but that was not in the article I read and I based my comment on the article. Not sure what the “original” post was, but where is it? I lived above Billy’s Topless in Manhattan years ago. Never had a problem. Actually had a few good nights there.

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interesting

Strange facts for those of you who think that the club has nothing to do with this… really happy to have foot traffic like this. Not only was the victim coming out of the club, he was arrested for heroin as well. Great place. We should definitely let them get a liquor license and encourage more places like this. Stick to the facts people…

A shooting also took place near the club last month.

Captain John Travaglia, Commanding Officer of the 108 Police Precinct, reported that a man was shot on Oct. 26 during a botched robbery when he came out of Show Palace.

While the perpetrators were not caught at the time, the victim was left in stable condition, Travaglia said. The victim was also arrested for heroin possession at the time of the incident.

The owner of the club could not be reached for this story.

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Frank

How about we close down Queensbridge first…I think it contributes way more to local crime than a strip club.

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...

Don’t you people even read the facts? This very blog states that the victim came out of the club. Great feet on the street. Unless you would be happy having this place under your building then you are a hypocrite.

Pretty naive to think that businesses like this are not shady. Better off with a bunch of empty warehouses than to have this kind of feet on the street.

Some of the people supporting the place clearly can’t even read since they seem to overlook the facts…

The place came in knowing that they couldn’t get a liquor license and hoping that people would cave in because the club would go fully nude. If they can’t operate on the business model that they chose to proceed with, then they should find some other business that they can run successfully … maybe they should start selling heroin instead.

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Truthinator

You’re a moron. The VICYIM of the robbery was shit coming OUT of the place. The shooter wasn’t in the club. Also, why is it the clubs problem that the victim was a junky? Let me not get started about the cokheads at dominies on vernon and the coke being snorted in the bathroom of the bar. It has nothing to do with the establishment thought. Individuals are responsible for their behavior. Bar and club staff are not babysitter and they’re not gonna search your pockets to find your drugs. Beyond cutting you off or not serving you and removing you from the premises when you’re clearly high, disruptive or intoxicated, they are not respinsible for your personal choices to ruin your life. This is a city. Men like to look at women. Sex sells. Don’t expect quiet.

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your just reinforcing the point

No one is claiming that the shooter was in the club. It is, however, clear that this kind of establishment is attracting crummy clientele and even crummier people waiting for them outside. The comments are in reaction to the first commenter who says that this club brings foot traffic that helps an already crummy area. Then people were implying that the victim and the shooter had nothing to do with the club. That was untrue … people came out of the club, and got shot by someone. Back to the point of “don’t know how good the foot traffic is that this place attracts, probably better off with warehouses at the foot of the bridge…” – The club certainly didn’t seem to help the situation… that’s all I’m saying. Coke heads at Dominies are no better … but that has nothing to do with this.

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Truthinator

The club stays. And I will be at the hearing to voice the opinion of the silent majority who has had enough of that slob Pat O’Brien and his control issues. Everyone in the neighborhood agrees, the club is not a bother. Most people have never even seen it. Here’s an idea: Could it be the sketchiness stems from the crime ridden housing projects a block and a half away? Maybe the 108 precinct should police that area more and worry less about naked women and the types of people who enjoy watching them. Arrest drug dealers, gang members and rapists so they don’t wind up outside a strip club assaulting customers at a bachelor party. And I’m sick of Pat O’Brien. He thinks he’s so funny, but he’s not. Every time he talks about show palace he uses the same tired old joke, “you know our favorite, all the orange juice you can drink, all nude, gentlemen club, haha lol”, when he’s the person who’s responsible for Show Palace being in that position!!!!!!!! The joke isn’t funny! Come up with something new you pathetic, couldn’t be a lawyer at a top tier law firm so you’re driving small businesses into the ground, LOSER!!!! Show Palace’s fan base is bigger than you think. They’re gonna win this round.

Funny

You people who always talk about the city as if this stuff belongs here “this is a city … If you want quiet leave…sex sells”.

I am someone who was born and raised in the city and am now raising my own kids here. Most of us like the hustle and bustle of a cultured city, but that doesn’t mean that strip clubs or other shitty places have a place here any more than other places. Most of you who talk about the city in that manner usually grew up in bubble in Westchester with socially engineered parents. You then fled to the city as soon as you could and found release in its underbelly. You then started to equate things like strip clubs, drugs and porn shops to the city. Then you found yourself telling people of the city to leave if they wanted quiet, feeling like it had become you own – FYI, they don’t want quiet. Then one day you’ll wake up and realize that you’ve had enough and want to move back to Westchester to raise your kids, and the cycle will start over again.

Take your kids and please move to the suburbs so that they can find themselves lurking in these lovely places one day themselves. Quick now, run, your stepford wife is calling you.

I vote for no liquor license. Since sex sells, I would imagine that they don’t need alcohol to help. Their current commitment to the community is more than enough.

Thank you Show Palace for the valued service that you bring to Truthinator and others like him / her.

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Truthinator

I grew up in LIC, next to St. Mary’s. I’m a woman and a feminist. I support and don’t judge women for their choices and I, unlike Pat O’brien and the other tyrants on the community board, am not afraid of women’s sexuality. Strip Clubs have a place in this city and in any other. Enough with the Disneyfication of this city already. It’s a job. Alcohol is part of the service industry and they deserve to have it just like the other topless joints on Vernon and on Borden. They’re already cash positive so Pat’s scheme (denying the liquor license) to run them out of business didn’t work. Alcohol means even bigger sales and more money going back into the neighborhood. And that Captain is a hypocrite. Those cops (many of whom are married) are some of Show Palace’s best customers. And Show Palace supports police too. They send food to the precinct on the holidays and have been nothing but helpful during the incidents that occurred outside the club even though they were not at fault. I think these NIMBY old witches are just jealous that they’re ugly and don’t have sex appeal. It’s jealousy and hatred of women that’s the driving force behind this “stiff” opposition Get over it!

...

The silent majority?
Everyone’s a hypocrite?
Telling people to get over it?

You’re funny. The only one with self-reported facts that continue to evolve throughout the debate is you. Shouting “get over it” doesn’t mean that the actual majority will just get over it. The only person living in Disney Land is you. I don’t like seeing the global jet-set pushing out real New Yorkers more than anyone else, but let’s get real, this city has turned a corner from when I grew up here. We were on the verge of becoming an absolute shit hole not too long ago, and that I certainly do not miss.

The self-described silent majority seems to be one blowhard who can’t seem to get their way and has it out for the community board and the local precinct. The same self-proclaimed feminist who has such an open mind but still criticizes police for hanging out at the very place that she cherishes for their lack of moral values? Open minded but no room for any views other than her own? An open / free society that is only right when it supports her self-created view of what is right and wrong? You’d make a great dictator. Get real. We live in an open democracy where the majority rules under our constitution. The majority doesn’t want a strip club here. They can’t stop a business from opening, but they do have the right to deny it a liquor license.

Fact: The majority of LIC didn’t want the establishment here in the first place. The majority of LIC doesn’t want it to get a liquor license.

When the majority of a population don’t want something you can call it NIMBY or whatever you want … but the fact remains, most people don’t want it here. They are entitled to their opinion as much as you are.

Go ahead an continue slinging mud at the local community board if you want. That seems to be your real agenda, but most of us just don’t want this place here. I for one feel substantially safer walking around queensboro plaza than I did 5, 10 or 15 years ago. It still has a long way to go, but it is much better now, and in large part because it has been cleaned up of places like this.

I vote against regression.

brooklynmc

Is this the place right by the exit to the 59th street bridge? That area is a dump and will be for a long time. The traffic coming off the bridge is bad. If anything, his business probably puts feet on the streets that would otherwise not be there.

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