2017-12-20 / Features

Gianaris Says Show Palace Must Close

BY LIZ GOFF

NYS Senator Michael Gianaris last week cited the recent arrest of five women at the Show Palace men’s club as one more reason why city and state law enforcement officials should shut down the notorious nightspot.

Queens Vice Squad raided Show Palace on December 1, where they arrested five women on prostitution charges, police said. The police officers entered the club on 21st Street near 43rd Avenue at about 4 a.m. as part of an investigation into violations of state liquor laws, police said. The officers ended up arresting the five women, ages 20-35, after they allegedly agreed to have sex with an undercover officer for $150 to $500, depending on what services they provided, a law enforcement source said.

Gianaris, who was on the front line in the recent shutdown of the ACES New York men’s club and the May 2016 closure of Club Purlieu, both in Dutch Kills, is calling on Queens District Attorney Richard Brown to use New York’s Nuisance Abatement Law to close Show Palace.

In a December 13 letter to Brown (reprinted in our Letters section), Gianaris cited recent reports from the 108th Precinct “that indicate a disproportionate number of disturbing incidents coming from Show Palace including shootings, prostitution and other summonses,” Gianaris said. “Taken together, these activities make clear that the continued operation of this club puts our community at risk.”

The State Liquor Authority (SLA) prohibited Show Palace from obtaining a NY State liquor license in January 2017 after police officials at the 108th Precinct told the agency that three of four shootings in the Long Island City command were linked to the club. Police said that one week before Show Palace was shut down, there was a shooting outside the club.

“Show Palace is an establishment opposed by our community for many years,” Gianaris said. “The State Liquor Authority and Community Board 2 have, since 2012, repeatedly denied Show Palace’s liquor license when it was operating under the name Gypsy Rose.”

When local leaders, elected officials and business owners battled against a liquor license for Gypsy Rose, the club owners vowed that they would open an all-nude club at the location – alcohol or no alcohol. Club owners made good on their threat a few months later, when they opened Show Palace as a “juice bar” featuring full nudity, bypassing a city law that says alcohol and full nudity don’t mix.

Elected officials and community leaders blasted the nude club, charging it would damage Long Island City’s restored image as a family neighborhood.

The club owners fired back, touting the club on their website as an “upscale adult entertainment establishment.” The also described the neighborhood as “desolate, dark and dingy,” and saying the club would provide jobs and “nightlife in the area.”

“Long Island City is the gateway to Queens, where more and more families are moving in, day by day,” Gianaris said. “It is evident that Show Palace presents an increased danger to local residents and is a detriment to our community.

“Our family-friendly neighborhood is no place for a sex-based business with a long record of violence, drug sales and prostitution,” Gianaris said. “This place has been a thorn in the side of our community for many years, and I will continue to protest this unwelcome establishment until its doors are closed for good.”

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