Strip club tries again for liquor license as Long Island City community voices opposition
The Daily News asked Senator Gianaris for his input on the attempted renewal of a liquor license for a strip club located in Long Island City. The Senator vigorously opposes this application.
The owners of a planned Long Island City strip club are making their second bid for a liquor license, just months after their previous application was overwhelmingly rejected by local and state officials.
The firm, 21 Group Inc., plans to open a gentlemen's club called Gypsy Rose at 42-50 21st St. They will outline their plans tonight to members of Community Board 2, which will then vote on whether to support their application to the State Liquor Authority.
Local sentiment on the project, which first emerged several years ago, hasn't changed. Civic leaders and elected officials, including state Sen. Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, have overwhelmingly denounced the club, saying they are trying to rid the neighborhood of its former seedy image.
"The city has spent a lot of money and lot of tax dollars protecting and trying to develop Long Island City," said Joseph Conley, chairman of Community Board 2. "The neighborhood is going through a transformation, a shift from industrial to residential and office space. This type of use is out of character with the neighborhood."
The previous application was filed on behalf of a firm named GLC Entertainment. One of the principals, Konstantine (Gus) Drakopoulos, had once pleaded guilty to a charge of insider trading - a fact emphasized by the State Liquor Authority in its rejection.
The SLA also pointed out that the city is trying to redevelop the area into a "family-oriented" community.
Drakopoulos is not a principal in 21 Group Inc. but several of the other partners in the new application were also part of GLC Entertainment Inc.
Terry Flynn, the lawyer for 21 Group Inc., did not respond to a call for comment.
"We have worked hard to improve the quality of life in this thriving part of our community, and a club like this would take us in the wrong direction," said Gianaris, who fired off a letter to the SLA opposing the application.
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