Klein, Crespo, Sepulveda Call for New Approval Process for Lewd “Juice Bar Strip Clubs”
HUNTS POINT, NY – Standing in front of the infamous nightclub, Platinum Pleasures, in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx, Senator Klein and Assemblyman Crespo announced new legislation mandating that non-alcoholic strip clubs have a cabaret license. In the wake of news that Platinum Pleasures would re-open as a juice bar with adult entertainment, state legislators are taking action to make any establishment featuring lewd entertainment subject to approval from the local community board as they apply for a cabaret license.
Senate Majority Coalition Leader Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) said, “In Hunts Point, we’ve discovered that despite years of trouble with the law, nightclubs that have threatened our safety and our quality of life, continue to find new ways of circumventing the law to re-open with little state or community oversight. Because Platinum Pleasures is set to re-open as a juice bar strip club, it escapes state regulation through the SLA or the DCA. But clubs like this continue to have no place in strong working class communities like Hunts Point. That’s why I have introduced new legislation to provide the oversight necessary stop clubs like this from setting up shop in communities that don’t want them.”
Assemblyman Marcos A. Crespo (D-Bronx) said: "Platinum Pleasures is an example of the type of businesses operating throughout our City that will push the envelope and find holes in the law to continue their illicit operations. This legislation will close any legal and administrative option that allows such establishments to be overlooked by regulatory agencies and will force them to contend with the full extent of our laws and law enforcement."
"Establishments like Platinum Pleasures bring a detrimental environment to our neighborhoods. I have worked diligently in the past to close these types of businesses, such as Divas lounge in my district. I understand the importance of this issue not just in the Bronx but across the state. This new legislation will make it easier to restrict these businesses from opening in our communities and for that reason I fully support it,” said Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda (D-Bronx).
A “Class B” license will be created by this legislation to certify non-alcoholic strip club establishments. When applying for this license, prospective owners would need to inform the local community board within five days and give the community board up to 45 days to respond to the request after they have received notice. Cabaret licenses are valid for two years, at which point they must be renewed.
A cabaret license would also require the venue to install digital surveillance of all its entrances and exits, use licensed security guards and receive a building and fire inspection.
Currently, these new “juice bar strip clubs” do not need to undergo the community board approval process, because they do not serve alcohol and are therefore not subject to the SLA application process. Under current law, a cabaret license would only need to be obtained if three or more patrons dance while food and drink are being served. This means that a strip club that has decided to forgo the ability to sell alcohol does not need any sort of specific business license from NYC other than a Food Service Establishment Permit from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) if they want to sell any form of food or drink. With this new legislation, alcohol-free strip club owners would be subject to regulation otherwise absent.
Senator Klein and Assemblyman Crespo made their announcement alongside community leaders form across the Bronx.
Community Board 2 District Manager Rafael Salamanca said, "Our community board has done everything possible to protect our neighborhood from the violence and destruction that center around nightclubs like Platinum Pleasures. And our hard work has paid off as nearly all of the crime-plagued nightclubs in Hunts Point have shut their doors. That’s why we have sprung into action as soon as we received word that Platinum Pleasures will re-open as juice bar strip club. Venues that feature adult entertainment should be subject to the community review process. I thank Senator Klein and Assemblyman Crespo for their leadership on this issue.”