Instead of “take it off,” Long Island City is shouting, “shut it down!”
After rallying in front of a local strip club to block its opening, L.I.C. residents and officals got their wish as the club, Gypsy rose, was denied a liquor license by the State Liquor Authority on January 18.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who led a rally against the club, said that the SLA’s decision is a victory for families.
“L.I.C. is a great place to live, work and raise a family and we will never stop fighting to keep it growing and to keep it great,” said the councilmember. “I congratulate all those who rallied, wrote letters and spoke before the SLA and I commend the SLA for its appropriate decision, which it took today.”
Opposition to the pole dancing haven reached its pinnacle at that rally, with Van Bramer leading the charge along with Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, Senator Michael Gianaris, Community Board 2 Chair Joe Conley, as well as civic and religious leaders.
“This is the wrong type of business in the wrong neighborhood,” said local resident Grant at the initial rally on January 12. “Long Island City is different now and we really don’t want a place like this next door.”
“Gypsy Rose threatened our community when we rallied against it last year, telling us they would put in a club that featured full nudity as opposed to what they originally proposed,” said Van Bramer among the crowd of over 50 community leaders and officials.
Representatives from Gypsy Rose’s parent company, 21 Group Inc., have met with community board officials numerous times over the past year, and have said that they will strengthen security with more guards and cameras. They also said that their establishment would be classier than what residents expect, and that it would convey an “elegant and artful” atmosphere.
At a public hearing last June, 21 Group Inc.’s attorney called Gypsy Rose “unobtrusive” and an “improvement” to the area. He also said the renovations would give residents a stylish building.
But the majority of residents and officials stood staunchly opposed to the strip club, no matter what the building might look like.
“The community is against it, and businesses are against it, that is why I’m standing here to ensure that all our voices are heard,” said Van Bramer at the rally. “Not here, not now!”