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Queens Chronicle

SLA puts thorn in Gypsy Rose’s side

Proposed LIC strip club denied a liquor license a second time

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Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 1:14 pm, Thu Jan 26, 2012.

The State Liquor Authority voted Wednesday to deny the second liquor license application of a proposed strip club in Long Island City called Gypsy Rose.

The SLA’s ruling on the club, located at 42-50 21 St., came two weeks after it had postponed the decision because it needed more time to review paperwork submitted by the establishment, owned by 21 Group.

Area officials and community leaders have been opposed to the club’s acquiring a liquor license since as early as 2010. Gypsy Rose’s first application to the SLA was denied in January 2011, in part because of concerns regarding “the character and fitness” of the club’s owners.

“This is a shared victory by all of the folks who have opposed this strongly,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) of the SLA’s second denial. “It’s a very good day for Long Island City.”

A rally against the strip club, held outside the premises on the Thursday before the SLA’s hearing, was attended by a wide variety of people representing Long Island City. They included Van Bramer, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Sunnyside), state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Community Board 2 Chairman Joseph Conley.

Also in attendance were Bishop Mitchell Taylor, a pastor at nearby Queensbridge Houses; Sister Theresa Fitzgerald, the executive director of LIC nonprofit Hour Children; and Stuart Suna, president of Silvercup Studios, located across the street from the proposed club.

Nolan made a particularly impassioned speech decrying the business.

“Long Island City is not a dumping ground,” she said. “Long Island City is not going to be a place where we exploit women.”

Conley noted that there are already eight strip clubs in the area. “It’s about perception,” he said, referring to Long Island City’s up-and-coming status.

Mohammad Sarfraz, a worker at the auto shop next door to Gypsy Rose, said he worried about its proximity to Information Technology High School, a few blocks away.

“Kids, they come over here,” Sarfraz said.

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