Tag Archives: racks

Woodside gentlemen’s club denied cabaret license by Community Board 1


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

One Woodside gentlemen’s club has been given the thumbs down to bring more dancing girls to the stage.

Community Board 1 (CB1) voted on Tuesday to deny NYC Gentlemen’s Club , located at 26-50 Brooklyn Queens Expressway West, a cabaret license allowing them to have more than two women working at the same time.

Currently, no more than two girls are allowed to be entertaining at once.

CB1’s vote comes from the board members connecting the facility to crime allegedly taking place in the neighborhood shared with two other clubs. The community board also said they do not want the establishment to expand.

The Department of Consumer Affairs will now have to vote on the license for the Woodside bikini bar.

In April, Community Board 1 voted against a liquor license recommendation for Racks, a restaurant and bar that owners sought to open at 19-26 Steinway Street in Astoria, on grounds its female servers will be wearing bikinis as uniforms. Later in July, the State Liquor Authority rejected that license application.

 

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Liquor Authority votes no booze for Astoria bikini bar


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

The girls can show some skin, but cannot serve guests some drinks.

On July 2, the State Liquor Authority (SLA) rejected a liquor license application from the owners of Racks, a restaurant and bar that owners are seeking to open at 19-26 Steinway Street.

During the SLA meeting, local politicians and residents showed up to voice their heavy opposition to the bar, where female servers would be wearing bikinis.

“A place like Racks is wholly out of character with the family-friendly neighborhood of its proposed location,” said Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, whose office has heard a large community outcry against the bar. “Astoria does not need scantily-clad women performing lap and pole dances a stone’s throw away from a playground, middle school and our neighbor’s homes.”

According to Simotas, the proposed adult establishment would reduce property values, increase the need for additional law enforcement and damage the community.

“I tip my hat to the State Liquor Authority for listening to our community and helping preserve the character of our neighborhood,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “This decision is a victory for our quality of life and for the thousands of families raising their children in Astoria.”

In April, Community Board 1 voted against a liquor license recommendation for Racks. But the board added that the owners could still set up shop and even feature topless adult entertainment.

Kerry John Katsorhis, the lawyer for Racks, could not be reached as of press time. During the April meeting, he said children would not have to pass by the bar to get the playground.

 

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No booze for Queens bikini bar


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

If Racks, a new restaurant and bar, wants to open up, waitresses will likely have to cover up.

Community Board 1 (CB 1) voted not to recommend a liquor license for Racks on grounds its female servers will be wearing bikinis as uniforms.

At the April 16 meeting, board members voted 17 to 15 against the recommendation, even though the Community Board’s Consumer Affairs Committee supported the restaurant’s bid.

In a letter written to CB 1, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas urged the body to vote against the license because the bar is close to residences and a school playground.

“Our children do not need to learn what a ‘bikini bar’ is on their way to little league,” Simotas wrote.
Community members and local elected officials voiced their opposition along with the assemblymember.

During the board meeting, Racks’ lawyer Kerry Katsorhis said the bar, at 19-26 Steinway Street, is on an almost completely commercial block. She argued that children will not have to pass by Racks to reach the playground.

“Though personally, I feel morally that this kind of entertainment is demeaning to women, this is not the forum for a lifestyle discussion. This is the forum for a small-business discussion,” said board member Frances Luhmann-McDonald, who voted in favor of the recommending the liquor license.

Although CB 1 did not give its recommendation, the State Liquor Authority will ultimately decide whether to grant the license or not.

 

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Bikini bar gets fierce opposition from leaders, locals


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Aravella Simotas

Residents are worried that an uncovered bid for an Astoria bikini bar may be a scantily-clad plan to wiggle a strip club into their neighborhood.

Racks, the club located at 19-26 Steinway Street, was recently leased to a company called 8G Inc. Formerly a billiard parlor, the establishment sits just half a block from homes, several hundred feet from a park and two blocks away from a school.

8G Inc. sought to obtain a liquor license, which was voted against unanimously by Community Board 1 in early September. District Manager Lucille Hartmann attributed the board’s decision to the establishment’s inability to benefit the community. Racks’ fate will be decided by the New York State Liquor Authority, advised by recommendations made by the community.

Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, who lives three blocks from Racks, said the neighborhood is an absolutely inappropriate place for a skin-based business.

“People who live in Upper Ditmars are very unhappy and are concerned that it’s going to have a negative effect on the community,” said Simotas. “Who is going to want to move in when there’s a bikini bar half a block away?”

Simotas, whose campaign against Racks garnered support from Congressmember Joe Crowley and Senator Michael Gianaris, said she remains confident the State Liquor Authority will consider their side and heed their warning.

According to Simotas, 8G Inc. executives refused to promise that the bar would not morph into a full-blown strip club.

8G Inc. attorney Kerry Katsorhis claimed Racks would not become an adult entertainment establishment and that women would be dressed no differently than if they were at the beach.

“It’s zoned for it. It’s in a commercial area. Its neighbors consist of a truck depot and warehouses. It seems to be in a remote area. It’s not surrounded by houses. There are no houses of worship or schools. Where else can you think of,” Katsorhis asked.

Katsorhis believes many people in the community would enjoy the bikini bar.

Carolyn Scarano, a life-long resident of Upper Ditmars, fears the installment of such an institution could devalue the neighborhood. Scarano, who frequently took her now-grown children to the park near Racks, believes it may draw questionable clientele to a family-oriented area.

“I really don’t think this neighborhood calls for an establishment like that,” said Scarano. “We encourage businesses — this is not the kind of establishment we’re looking for.”