A Hunts Point strip club that's troubled the community for years has reopened with a twist, finding a way around current regulations, leading elected officials moving to tighten the approval process for such clubs. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
Late-night revelers seeking a glimpse of skin have frequented the businesses on a Hunts Points street corner for years.
"I work with students very early some mornings when the club was actually open at around 7, and seeing people coming and going," said one person in the neighborhood.
First it was Bada Bing, then Platinum Pleasures. Both were topless bars where the alcohol flowed, and neighbors said trouble often spilled onto the streets.
"People hanging out there and you know, like, they park the cars over there, they buy the alcohol and stuff, they came and they fighting and stuff," said one person in the neighborhood.
In 2013, neighbors say the owner had enough and shut the place down. Some thought that was a chance to bring what they describe as light to the darkness. A Hunts Point church hoped to move in, but didn't have the funds.
"Previous owner of Platinum Pleasures was basically wanting an exorbitant amount of money," said Pastor Reggie Stutzman of Real Life Church. "We were trying to raise money to just buy the whole building."
Now, the club has reopened under new ownership and with a twist. NY1 wasn't able to reach the club's owner for comment, but this much is certain: instead of a topless bar, Plantinum Pleasures is now a nude juice bar, and no alcohol is served.
Members of the community board say it doesn't matter what the club serves, it's the behavior of patrons leaving establishments like Platinum Pleasures that make it a problem.
"The police department has to station a police car in front of their locations every night that they're open," said Rafael Salamanca, district manager of Community Board 2.
That's why local politicians are proposing a law that they say will stop these type of businesses from getting around state regulations.
State Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo want alcohol-free strip joints to apply for cabaret licensing and seek community approval before opening.
"I think any efforts toward tightening restrictions and having people really, like, jump through the hoops to open these things would be a deterrent," said one person in the neighborhood.
A deterrent that politicians and community members hope will help rid the neighborhood of these businesses as Hunts Point tries to re-brand itself.