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Queens Chronicle

Bikini bars may get into full disclosure

Senate passes liquor license info bill

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Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:01 am, Thu Jun 20, 2013.

It’s more likely a new law will no longer allow bikini bars to look — on paper — like pubs, sports bars or any other establishment that requires their waiters to wear more than thongs.

The bill to force establishments to note any type of adult entertainment on their State Liquor Authority application passed the state Senate on Tuesday. It passed the Assembly on March 13.

Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) penned the Community Full Disclosure Act after a bikini bar, Queen of Hearts, opened its doors in Astoria without Community Board 1’s knowledge of its workers’ dress code. The only detail an owner must provide on his or her SLA license application about adult entertainment is whether employees will be appearing topless or not.

Bikini bars don’t fit squarely in that box since the waitresses wear bikini tops and thongs. A bar thus does not need to label itself an adult establishment. Therefore to community boards a bikini bar seems like any other typical bar.

“Residents need to be aware of exactly what types of businesses will be operating near their homes, schools and senior centers, and should be given a fair opportunity to scrutinize whether or not such establishments belong in their neighborhood,” Simotas said. “This legislation, at its core, is wholly aimed at expanding the voice of citizens.”

If Gov. Cuomo signs the legislation, establishments will be required to disclose if their servers will offer pole- and lap-dances or only wear bikinis or underwear.

“This bill requires transparency and provides notice to the residents when this type of business attempts to open in their community,” said Sen. George Maziarz (R-Lockport), state Senate sponsor of the legislation. “I was surprised to learn of the existence of this loophole for adult businesses and I am glad that the Legislature acted to close it.”

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